ILIAS mix of GNU GPL with own terms

Lutz Horn lh at
Sun May 27 21:29:54 UTC 2001

* Reinhard Mueller [Sun, 27 May 2001 at 22:44 +0200]:
> Lutz Horn wrote:
> > today I stumbled across a software project called ILIAS
> >    "If the licensee modifies the software and makes this modification
> >    available to third parties, he is obligated to make available a copy
> >    of the modification to the licenser at no cost, or, if if the
> >    modification is available publicly and at no cost, to inform the
> >    licenser about the source."
> Maybe the better translation would not be "make available a copy" but
> "pass on a copy", which is even worse (makeing available is passive,
> passing on is active so to say).
> IMHO this is *not* compatible with the GNU GPL.
> One additional problem I see is: Will these AGBs be valid for people
> that get this software from somewhere else? They will probably never
> have seen them...

That's a good point. As far as I can see a major point for the FSF to
judge a license as compatible with the GNU GPL or even as a non free
license is the amount of trouble someone has to take in distributing a
(modified) version of the software. If this amount of trouble is too big,
like in advertising the original programmer, sending him a copy of the
modified version, or making any third person aware of additional
obligations he's taking against the original programmer, the FSF would
rule such a license as either incompatible or even non free. Is this

It'd definitely be too much trouble to tell everybody I give a
(modified) version of the software: "Hey, you got that from me under the
terms of the GNU GPL but remember to adher to the additional conditions
layed down in the AGBs of the original programer. What, they aren't
reachable anymore? Too bad."

> I think it would only be fair to point these problems out as soon as
> possible, instead of letting them do what they want now and making
> troubles later.

That's a good idea. I'll sleep about it now and contact these guys
tomorrow. But if you other guys out there have an opinion about this
topic, please speak out (and don't get distracted by my other postings
with a more ideological pitch ;-)


Lutz Horn <lh at>
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