"Publish your source to publish your paper" exception to GPL3. Would it be legal ? Would it be ethic ?

Andrés Muñiz Piniella a75576 at alumni.tecnun.es
Fri Oct 2 05:08:40 UTC 2015

El 30 de septiembre de 2015 15:59:58 GMT+01:00, Hugo Roy <hugo at fsfe.org> escribió:
>↪ 2015-09-30 Wed 16:33, Antonello Lobianco (not reply)
><blackhole at lobianco.org>:
>> While in the traditional software production sector the private
>> driver to use an existing software is those of modifying it and
>> the modified software, in the academic context the economic/private
>> to modify a software is rather to use it to publish papers.
>> As it is unethical that you use a GPL software, modify it and pursuit
>> private interest licensing it keeping your modifications as closed
>Why is it unethical? Your actions are not having any impact on other
>people's freedoms when you keep GPL software modifications private
>without such software being used by anyone else.
>> I feel unethical that in the academic sector you can use GPL
>software, make
>> modifications for your own private interest (making publications) and
>> give them back to the community.
>Sharing should be allowed, but not mandatory. That's how it is in free
>software anyway.
>> [...]

>From what I understand this would be unethically scientifically. In my humble opinion papers are not published for personal gain, that might be a side advantage (extra funding, higher h-index,...). Scientists publish in order for others to peer review and hopefully reproduce their work. Modified sourcecode should be provided as an attachment or explained within the paper and the original code referenced. Of course as a consecuence of this, I feel scientists should avoid propietary software at all costs, so this might be wishful thinking rather than anything else.

>> This software is covered by the above GNU GPL version 3 licence with
>> > following exceptions that prevail over the GNU GPL version:
>(Technically, this isn't an “exception”, but an additional restriction)
>> > #1: Any public communication (not limited: working papers,
>> > technical reports) of results derived from running a modified
>version of
>> > this software requires the publication of the source code
>corresponding to
>> > such modifications;
>> > #2: Publishing communications derived from unmodified versions of
>> > software on which new data is applied doesn't require the
>publication of
>> > the data;
>> > #3: Any modifications must be released under the same licence of
>> > unmodified software, including these exceptions.
>> > Version 3, 29 June 2007
>> >
>> [...etc..]
>> Would such licence be legal (and would still allow the usage of GPL
>> components) ?
>That depends on the applicable law and in which jurisdiction it is
>Also, whether the text you're submitting would actually be enforceable
>is far from clear (for instance, the use of “derived from” suggests a
>copyright notion of derivative work which would certainly by alomst
>impossible to achieve thus rendering the addition useless).
>> Would it be "ethic" (and would still be considered "free software") ?
>Putting ethics aside for a moment, I believe that such an addition
>would render the result non-free software as it would prevent you from
>privately modifying software for purposes of “public communication”,
>thus breaching a combination of Freedom0 and Freedom1 from GNU's
>    1. https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
>Also, this addition would certainly create licensing incompatibilities
>with GPL software, which would be very inconvenient and is thus
>absolutely not desirable.
>Please don't try to make this license or release your software under
>such terms.

Richmond Makerlabs
Ham United Group

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