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Re: Help to pick a license for my free source code project

From: mike3
Subject: Re: Help to pick a license for my free source code project
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 15:08:27 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Oct 16, 10:17 am, rjack <rjack@com> wrote:
> No contract ever binds anyone unless you accept it -- that's a
> tautology.

The GPL is not a contract, it is a grant of permission to do
things that would otherwise be forbidden by copyright law.
If your use falls outside of the scope of that permission,
it is forbidden by law, unless you have obtained additional
permission from the author(s) that allows your use.

For example, it grants you permission to create derivative
works of the software, provided you agree to license
any distributions of them under the GPL. Under the Law,
without any permission, you are not allowed to create
derivative works at all. The permission granted by the
GPL applies only when you agree to license any
distribution of your modifications (if you choose to
distribute them) under it. If you do not do that, it does
not apply, and hence the law's prohibition remains
in effect (That is what is prohibiting you -- the *law*,
not the GPL. The GPL is actually *allowing* you to
do certain things.).

> When a *licensee* accepts the GPL "contract" by modifying and
> distributing it he promises to:
> "cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or
> in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part
> thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
> parties under the terms of this License."
> Now, I don't know what your native language is but in US english
> to "cause" a work to be "licensed" to a third party means to
> "cause" any accepting third party to be *bound* by the terms of
> the GPL -- that's the very crux of "copyleft" or "downstream
> licensing".
<snip stuff about accusations of being a "liar">

Well, _I_ won't make accusations of "liar", but I don't know
about the other people on this group. However I will
point out where you are wrong. Personally I do not feel
it is right to judge someone as a "liar" or not. Plus,
attacking the person is irrelevant to the debate.

What you are wrong on is your interpretation of the GPL.
It is not saying it "causes" that third party to be bound -- they
can turn down the redistributed copy if they wish. What it is
saying is that you, as a redistributor, must redistribute the
software under the GPL. The third party becomes bound _if
they choose to use_ one of those copies. You are agreeing
to "cause" those *copies* to be licensed under GPL. You
are *not* agreeing to force someone to use such a copy and
hence agree to the GPL.

Does that make sense to you?

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