GPL compliance

Gary W. Swearingen garys at
Fri Jun 30 17:46:06 UTC 2006

Mario Vukelic <mario.vukelic at> writes:

> Your main intent seems to be to spread FUD about the GPL and because
> this is offtopic on this list, I ask you to stop. We can meet on
> Slashdot

You're very wrong about my intent.  And I don't post to Slashdot
because it's insufficiently free for my tastes, having an evil
indemnity clause in its terms and conditions.  Now THAT's not FUD,
because you need not have any F, U, or D about the possible
consequences of indemnifying companies, especially for claims by
third parties merely related to your use of a site.

> Again, every piece of code that is packaged has a copyright file. It's
> really easy to check

It's lame and insulting statements like that are really getting my
goat.  Be glad that I practice much restraint in the number and
content of my replies.

> There are no "magic clauses". And how do you define "nasty"? I thought
> you were in favor of accurate language.

And you all know what a little "spice" in language adds to a
discussion.  It also expresses an opinion which is not a subject for
debate -- just other opinions.  Many find some clauses of the GPL to
be nasty.  And there's nothing sinister about "magic"; the
offer/statement is a kind of magic wand that you can wave to acceive a
desired result, in this case satisfying the GPL.

> It's hard to argue with you because you never even say what those "magic
> statements" are supposed to be. Anyway, the GPL is the same for all
> software that uses it, and its implications are well established

It's hard to argue with many of you because you don't pay attention.
We were discussing clause 3 from which it is obvious what I was
referring to. Daniel first asked where to find it, etc.  (And I still
haven't heard that answered confidently -- maybe the printed disk

> What would Red Hat's requirements be?

Those of the GPL, of course.  Wowzer.  This is too much.

> First of all, I care little for US copyright law.

Which explains a lot.

> The FSF threatens noone.

That's just wrong, unless you consider a letter from a FSF lawyer to
not be threatinging.  I've read many times of them being send.

>>  Copyleft requires that you
>> pay for the privilege of publishing derivatives by cross-licensing
>> the deriver's IP back to the copyleftist (and to others).
> Utter nonsense. Copyleft requires that if you take copylefted code,
> change it and redistribute it, then (and only then) are you required to
> make you changes (and only those) copylefted. Other "IP" you might own
> is not affected in any way.

We seem to agree; you just don't want to properly classify what's
going on there.  Publishing a derivative may be done only by
cross-licensing some of the deriver's IP.

> Do you mean to say I have the same rights with, say, Microsoft's MFC as
> I have with, say, gtk+? *shakes head in bewilderment*

No, that's why I used "in kind", a very flexible word, that would,
with reasonable readers, save a lot of explanation.

> Ubuntu complies with
> that by printing the offer on the CD cover

OK, now we know, more or less.

> Again, what does Red Hat have to do with it? Ubuntu takes source from
> all kinds of places, builds and distributes binary packages, and offers
> the source code for these binary packages. How is any of this Red Hat's
> concern?

Because Ubuntu users must be licensed by Red Hat or they can't use Red
Hat's IP.  It says so right there in GPL clause 5 (along with basic
licensing law).  I wonder why people smart enough to use Linux can't
understand such basic stuff.

> Accurate language? The term IP is specifically used to blur the

The meaning of IP is obvious and there's no good reason to avoid its use.

>>   Ransom Love is a
>> kernel developer, 
> This was very funny. Ransom Love was the CEO of Caldera, and is an MBA

Sorry if I named the wrong guy.  Poor memory for names.  I don't have
time to check just now.  There's a Red Hat guy who writes Linux
Journal articles (I'm a 10-yr subscriber, BTW) usually on
kernel-related things.  His name was on a lot of early RH stuff.

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