does a free license make software free?

MJ Ray mjr at
Sun Oct 14 23:15:48 UTC 2007

Albert Dengg <albert at> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 14, 2007 at 12:08:57AM +0200, chrysn wrote:
> > if you write a program on your own, you can distribute it under any 
> > license without any obligations firing back to you; these first take 
> > effect when you use foreign code. i think it is a general 
> > misunderstanding about free licenses.
> well, i think you are only partly right here: if you give somebody
> something under the gpl specifically, you give the person certain
> rights, among them (to put it simple) to get "the code" and so on. even
> if you are the original author/copyright holder you would be forced to
> fullfill the obligations [...]

If it's 100% yours, who could force you to fulfil the obligations?
There is no other licensor who can punish you for not fulfilling the
license.  Maybe if you sold the act of GPL'ing the software (is this
possible?), the payer could punish you, but I don't think a licensee
can without completing some other agreement with you.

So I believe chrysn was correct.  This is one reason why we should be
careful to store seeds^H^H^H^H^Hsource code.

MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
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