Re: bash completion script licensing
* Anthony W. Youngman:
>>The GPL requires more than just source code. In particular, "further
>>restrictions" are not allowed. So having source code is not
>>sufficient for compliance.
> Yes, but if I'm a DISTRIBUTOR, I don't have the power to change the
> licence, so if I receive source-code and pass it on, then the GPL is
> irrelevant, other than it gives me permission to "copy what I have".
Being a distributor does not exempt you from copyright violations.
> If all I do is copy it (for which the GPL gives me permission) and
> distribute the copies UNCHANGED, then I have not added "further
> restrictions" and I am not in breach of the GPL.
This assumes that the copyright holder of the GPLed part gives you the
work. You could construct implicit permission from that. But if
someone else gives you the work.
Most of the GPL enforcement to date has been against distributors.
> Personally, I would be COMPLETELY happy, as author, distributor, OR
> end-user, to use GPL libraries with proprietary programs IF those
> proprietary programs were distributed AS SOURCE. I've actually used
> a couple of libraries like that (although they didn't link to GPL
> stuff - this was when Free Software was just beginning to take off).
Reverse engineering tools for compiled code are nowadays good enough
that they can compete, in terms of usability, with badly written
source code. Combined with your argument, we should allow people to
use GPLed code from their code, irrespective of their own licensing.
This would be the end of copyleft.
> Let's say I write a program that uses loads of GPL software, and I
> licence it under a proprietary licence. If I distribute MY code, as
> source, and leave it to the user to do the compiling, linking etc,
> where is any copyright violation?
Some people want it to be a copyright violation, to make copyleft
stronger. I personally find it a difficult position to take if your
end goal is abolition of all copyright. However, something similar is
needed if you want the GPL have legal teeth (without making it a
contract), and be more than just an elaborate statement of a preferred
software distribution policy.