Re: Dangerous precedent being set - possible serious violation of the GPL
William T Wilson writes:
> On Wed, 1 Dec 1999, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> > Depends on how that's accomplished. If it's a license for the entire
> > distribution as a whole, it should be possible. That's what I was
> > assuming: a EULA for the distribution.
> In short, you can't do that. You can't circumvent the provisions of the
> GPL just by saying that your license applies to the distribution as a
> whole, rather than any specific part. Section 6 of the GPL overrides
> that, by specifying that "you may not impose any further restrictions on
> the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein." Preventing them
> from using or distributing the GPL software for any purpose, including
> that which you deem morally bankrupt, is against the rules.
> Section 6 also specifies that the recipient of a GPL program receives
> their license for that program from the original licensor. Unless that
> entity is willing to go along with your desire to restrict the use of the
> software, your restrictions would (again) be void.
> You can call your restrictions simply restrictions on the distribution as
> a whole, but the fact remains that they are also restrictions on the
> further redistribution of the GPL-covered software, which is expressly
> forbidden. The only thing you could do would be to restrict the use of
> the distribution as you have laid it out - for example the installer, by
> making it non-GPL. But the components that make up the system are
This is not at all obvious to me.
Whether this is true depends on the interpretation of all this material:
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote
Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
collective works based on the Program.
In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License.
What is the difference between "mere aggregation" and "a collective work
based on the program"?
It's obviously possible to write a EULA for a distribution which is quite
discriminatory and proprietary, but which guarantees the right to separate
out the GPLed portions and distribute them to anybody under the terms of
Seth David Schoen <firstname.lastname@example.org> | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp. http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/ | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down: http://www.loyalty.org/ (CAF) | not have leisure. -- Pirke Avot 2:5