French GPL-compatible License

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Tue Jul 13 18:10:32 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 13 Jul 2004 at 9:09, Reinhard Mueller wrote:

> Am Die, den 13.07.2004 schrieb Niall Douglas um 1:46:
> > 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.

I'll firstly point out that I argued precisely what you've just 
argued over a period of three weeks. It turned out that where we were 
taking contrary meanings from the same text was because I had not 
noticed a very small phrase.

> GPL, 2.b
> You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole
> or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part
> thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
> under the terms of this License.

The key phrase here is "... under the terms of this License". This is 
NOT the same as "... under this License".

It might seem like splitting hairs, but apparently this phrase 
legally makes the difference between requiring that all derived works 
must also be GPLed and merely requiring that the license for all 
derived works must be *compatible* with the GPL.

Now I am not a lawyer, but this person who I argued with for three 
weeks was heavily plugged into the whole FSF/GNU thing and while I'm 
not saying that there are members on this list who aren't, I did 
advance precisely your arguments and I discovered I was wrong. I just 
checked my email archives, I had that argument with Alex Hudson who I 
think is/was on this group? I've CC-ied him anyway.


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