[CentOS] FYI: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Release Candidate Available to Partners

Jerry Franz jfranz at freerun.com
Tue Oct 19 08:31:36 EDT 2010


  On 10/19/2010 05:03 AM, Karanbir Singh wrote:
> On 10/19/2010 12:52 PM, Jerry Franz wrote:
>> Once you publish/distribute GPL licensed code to *anyone*, your
>> obligation to provide source kicks in for *everyone*. In practice, few
>> people hammer at a company "in process" over it. But you *can*.
> I am not a lawyer, but you blurb seems to indicate that the issue is
> applicable to people with the object code, which would make my last
> point valid.
>

Only on v3 license code. Most code is still under v2.

> Also, there are legalise around exactly what is considered a product /
> code snippet / build script and distribution - which is what makes
> things like NDA's workable.

Actually, the GPL  forbids using 'add on' agreements like NDAs that 
attempt to make it so an end user can't recompile or redistribute the 
code. The authors thought of those attempts to 'end run' the GPL's 
obligations when they wrote it. That is why clause 4 of the v2 license 
(or clauses 8 and 10 of the v3 license) exists.

*v2: 4.* You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program 
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise 
to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will 
automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties 
who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will 
not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in 
full compliance.

NDAs that attempt to impose *restrictions* on the GPL while still 
publishing/distributing to a third party can't overcome the basic legal 
obligations of the GPL and this is *by design*. And yes, code snippets 
and build scripts are covered, too. See clause 3 of the v2 license.

Being as deeply involved in a FOSS exercise like CentOS as you are, you 
really should take the time to fully understand the license that enables 
it to happen at all.

-- 
Benjamin Franz
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