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

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue Oct 19 08:53:16 EDT 2010


On 10/19/10 7:31 AM, Jerry Franz wrote:
> 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.

V3 just makes it explicit. v2 wasn't intended to force anyone to distribute 
source to anyone who didn't have binaries, and if it did, it certainly couldn't 
dictate terms (i.e. you could charge any price you wanted for it).


>> 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.

There are many different licenses covering code in Linux and *bsd distributions. 
  It doesn't make sense to consider one of them any more important than the 
others.  Especially the one that often prevents 'best of breed' combinations of 
components from being possible with its restrictions.

-- 
    Les Mikesell
      lesmikesell at gmail.com


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