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Re: how much is too much?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: how much is too much?
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:26:42 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> This is hilarious.
> (Help needed dealing with ex-employer violating GPL)

Well, the guy is totally confused.  Of course the code he wrote is
likely owned by the company that paid him for writing it.  And of
course the scripts don't come magically under the GPL.  The complete
product, of course, can't be distributed ignoring the GPL.  Whether
the scripts have to be considered integral part or just an aggregation
is a different question, and this will affect whether the company
_has_ to choose the GPL for the scripts as well (if they prefer to
avoid getting sued by the netfilter authors), or are more free in
their choice of license.

In all cases, the GPL does not affect ownership of the code at all.
It only affects in which form and manner the complete product may or
may not be distributed.  From what he writes, it seems plausible that
his former employer might be in violation of the GPL, but that has
nothing to do at all with the claims between him and the company, and
he should get competent legal advice as fast as he can.  While the
question of GPL compliance might cause his company independent
trouble, it is completely irrelevant to his case.

Even if the company chose to release the complete code under the GPL
eventually, he is _not_ allowed to work with it (if it was contract
work) unless he received a copy of it via a regular distribution

If he independently rewrote it, then he should make sure that no
no-compete clause in the contracts blocks him from doing that.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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