French GPL-compatible License

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Mon Jul 12 23:46:21 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 13 Jul 2004 at 0:04, Thomas Linden wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 12, 2004 at 10:52:49PM +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > You can never relicence other people's code. The GPL doesn't allow
> > you to do that either - so, I don't think you're right to call the
> > GPL "infecting".
> The GPL forces me to relicense code - my code. If I write some new
> code, which I want to license some way (but not under GPL) and use a
> couple of .c files of an existing gpl'ed project, the GPL *tells* me
> that the resulting code must also be released under the GPL.

I'll just short circuit the answer to this because I thought the same 
as you until quite recently. The GPL's wording only mandates that 
derived code must supply its source, not that the derived code must 
also be GPLed.

Technically speaking, I could take a GPLed C file, alter two lines 
and so long as I have clearly demarcated those two lines as being 
copyright to me and therefore under my magic special license, that's 
fine. Of course, my magic special license must supply source with any 
binary release plus meet all the other GPL requirements.

> This is
> the cause why most (I'm not sure if this is the case for all) BSD base
> systems do not include GPL code. They always put such stuff into the
> ports, not the base, to make sure the base will always be licensable
> under the BSD license.

I have the sneaking suspicion that bits & pieces of LGPL code may 
have found their way into the 5.x series FreeBSD kernels. It hardly 
matters though the GPL itself would as depending on how strictly you 
interpreted what constitutes a derived work, you could argue that all 
BSD applications must therefore be GPL. Of course on Linux the 
convention is that there is a line drawn at the edge of kernel space.

> I don't want to flame against the GPL (I use it in my own projects),
> but it is not the holy grail, and I don't see, why people "should" use
> a gpl-compatible license.

Neither do I. Indeed, the GPL is a very poor license to choose for 
certain kinds of project though to even suggest that it isn't perfect 
is flamebait to certain kinds of mentality. I only use the GPL for 
augmentations to existing GPLed works - I use LGPL or better for all 
new code.


Version: idw's PGP-Frontend / 9-2003 + PGP 8.0.2


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