juridical Question on software and GPL

list at akfoerster.de list at akfoerster.de
Sat Mar 27 13:19:07 UTC 2004

Am Samstag, dem 27. Mär 2004 schrieb Paolo Gianrossi:

> On Fri, 26 Mar 2004 21:32:29 +0100
> Moritz Sinn <moritz at freesources.org> wrote:
> > "Axel Schulz" <axel at schulz.ph> writes:
> > 
> > > Hello at all!
> > >
> > >
> > > I do think that this software does not violate the GPL. And: The "distributer" on http://www.bemme.de seems to be the original author of the software. So, he can do what ever he wants to do with his software, right? Even selling it. ;-)
> > 
> > well, yes. but if he puts it under gpl he has to follow what gpl says.
> mmh. afaik no: basically you can do whatever you like if you're the author: imagine the following scenario: 
> A writes a program P and puts it under the GPL. Then he distributes binary only and doesn't answer to requests of source code. At this point user U wants to do something. But the only person who can legally take action on a copyright/licensing issue is the author (A in our case)... So the only thing U could do is to contact A asking him to sue himself :)
> Am i getting this wrong somewhere? 

In your scenario the program was never really released under the GPL:
If it's not source, it's no software.
When the author sais, that it is released under the GPL, he's simply 

But if a program source was released under the GPL, this can never be 
taken back anymore. The author may decide to release new versions in 
binary form only, but he cannot take back the rights for the GPL'ed 


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