French GPL-compatible License

Samuel Liddicott sam at
Tue Jul 13 08:29:09 UTC 2004

Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:

>    2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
>       of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
>       distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section
>                                             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>       1 above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
>       ^^^^^^^
>And what is section 1?
>    1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
>       source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
>       conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an
>       appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep
>       intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the
>       absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the
>       Program a copy of this License along with the Program.
>Hence, derivate must be GPL'ed.
ONLY if it is to be distributed.
I would welcome more clarification on what constitutes a distribution. 
If a small company modifies and builds and runs GPL software on a single 
computer they are not required to release the source as the derivative 
work is not being distributed.  Arguably a larger company (having more 
than one PC) may use the modified GPL software across the company 
without releasing source - even if they software is used to provide a 
public or commercial service - because the derivative work is not being 

Certainly if the GPL derivative code were made available to another 
company this would count as a distribution. What about to a different 
department? What about a different group company? What about to club 
members? What if the club is a company? What if the club is a company 
AND a club of companies?

Finally, to clarify Thomas Lindens case (I'm not sure if he 
misunderstood the GPL here or just badly demonstrated the different 
between GPL and BSD licenses):

Thomas Linden wrote:

> 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.

If  from that you can conclude that the GPL forces you to relicense code 
I can only conlcude that you thought the GPL forced you to use the 
"couple of .c files" as well.

The truth is, you have absolutely no right to distribute derivative 
works based on those .c files (due to copyright) without permission and 
that GPL'd is one way you are granted permission with certain conditions 
which aren't as free as the BSD grant.

Users who don't like the conditions may just avoid use the "couple of .c 
files", the GPL isn't going to make anyone use those .c files, but those 
who do should respect the copyright of the authors and respect the law.

The GPL can't save the world from everything but it is a political holy 
grail for those who want software to remain free (as in liberty), and I 
suspect that because of this it is capable of inspiring the hot zeal 
that exists more among linux advocates that BSD advocates. Because the 
GPL grants and maintains rights it is something to actually get excited 


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