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Re: Marcin announces... mygnokii2

From: Daniel Morris
Subject: Re: Marcin announces... mygnokii2
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 09:01:47 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/

On Wed, Apr 17, 2002 at 08:36:00PM +0200, Marcin Wiacek wrote:
> Hello Pavel,
> >    >
> > what is the license of your project? I have found pieces of
> > code written by me for gnokii project in your code. All of my 
> > code for gnokii project is covered by the GNU GPL license. So 
> > I'm asking if your code is too covered by this license. If it 
> > is not, you have a problem. Big problem.
> First: do not threat other people

That's not a threat, merely a statement of fact.

> Second: it's possible to change all "disputable" parts by changing
> (example) variable names or so, 

Rubbish. You have GPL source code and any changes you make cannot 
"break" its GPL'ness. The only way you could change a licence
is to speak to each of the copyright holders and get them to agree
to provide a different licence to you (generally called dual
licensing, such as the Cygwin dll).

Also note that there are a variety of software tools that can 
analyse sources and show the similarities based on module flow
and structure etc (ie irrespective of white space, variable 
naming, headers, copyright notices etc -- I remember seeing a demo 
from McCabe five years ago where they demonstrated a piece of code 
had been derived from routines taken from 'less'). 

> publish only binaries (and metting in judgement). 

The GPL says you must make the source available (and if not 
immediately with the binary then provide the sources for some period 
of time - a minimum commitment of three years -- see clauses 3a-c).

> Of course, I will not do it (at least second) 


> and publish mygnokii2 under one of "free" licences. 

You don't have the option to change the licence of code contributed
to gnokii (or gcc or gdb or anyother piece of GPL software) without
the consent of the copyright holder.

> I'm thinking now, which is the
> best. Could you point me about "important" differences between the most
> popular and why GNU GPL is the best for you ?

There are many views on this and a good site listing a number of licences
is at <>, however you don't
currently have the option to choose a new licence for mygnokii2 as
it is based on portions of the GPL code from gnokii.

I favour the GNU GPL as it ensures that the code can never be made 
proprietary whereby users would loose the right to audit, modify, 
enhance or even learn from the source code (without a GPL exception
or dual licence etc).

This is from the preamble:-

  "By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to 
   guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to 
   make sure the software is free for all its users."

Your option to release "mygnokii2" is entirely predicated on what the
GPL seeks to offer, freedom to code licensed under it. With freedom
there comes responsibility. As the copyright holders have already
pointed out, you must clarify the licence of what you have 
already published with your mygnokii2.tar.gz file.


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