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Re:, question

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re:, question
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:18:04 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 25 Aug 2008, Ineiev wrote:

I read the GPL as "we give you the program under the condition that
you shall not distribute it in other way than such and such".
I thought there was no clause "we promise to do this and that".
It is nothing other than getting from the originator
under the terms of the GPL that obliges "us".

Certainly, there is no evident reasons why the originator might
want not to follow the GPL himself or herself or theirselves
while licensing the program under the GPL.

I studied the text of your response to me but I am not sure what it is trying to say.

The last part of the GPLv2 text provides advice for software authors as to how their packages should be prepared for distribution via GPL. If the package itself does not conform to GPL, then there is no point in distributing it.

GPL is often called "copyleft". It is copyrighted code which depends on the real copyright holder to defend it, but assures the rights (to the source code) of anyone who receives a binary program based on the work. If the copyright holders for a work are not clear and legally defensable then the work becomes indefensable and is really no better than if it was placed in the "public domain". This is why contributors to GPL packages should ensure that the package itself conforms to GPL recommended practices, and that it is clear who wrote (or owns) the code (via ChangeLog, version control system, and/or legal copyright assignment). In order to deal with the ownership issue, all contributors to FSF projects sign a contract with the FSF so that the FSF becomes the owner of their contributed work.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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