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Re: Linux kernel complete licence check, Q.12

On Mon, Nov 18, 2002 at 12:54:27PM -0500, David Turner wrote:
> On Mon, 2002-11-18 at 10:08, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > > All portions of governed files not labeled otherwise are owned by Hans
> > > Reiser, and by adding your code to it, widely distributing it to
> > > others or sending us a patch, and leaving the sentence in stating that
> > > licensing is governed by the statement in this file, you accept this.
> > 
> > Adding things to the files without due notice of the change is
> > *forbidden* by the GPL. Essentially this notice seems to say that you
> > get the *additional* right to do such additions if you transfer your
> > copyright to Hans Reiser. Formally that amounts to a dual-licensing
> > scheme which is fine by the DFSG as long as one of the alternatives
> > (i.e. GPL) is free.
> This is somewhat bogus.  Reiser demands a specific form for the change
> notices required by GPL (2)(a) -- you have to remove a sentence.  And
> this is certainly a requirement in addition to the GPL, which conflicts
> with section (6).
> Fortunately, this doesn't actually work in the US.  You can't transfer
> copyright implicitly in the US -- you need signed paperwork (17 USC 204
> (a)).

I respectfully thing you are reading the license all wrong here.

IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, but here is my reading:

The files are availabe under GPL, with no limitations.

The Author makes an additional offer to license the code on
other terms in exchange for a fee, but only for the portions for
which he can legally do so.

The Author makes a non-binding commitment to share the profit
from such fees with those who explicitly permit their changes to
be included in such commercial licensing.

The Author makes a non-binding request, that people who modify
the code explicitly state the licensing of their changes.

So far this should not be a problem.

The Author claims, that if "You" modify a file without deleting
the reference to the extended license and replacing it with pure
GPL (or whatever), your changes become subject to the extended
license which grants the Author the permission to make the code
available under any license he chooses.

This is slightly more controversial, but essentially it works
the same way as LGPL->GPL conversion: If you modify an LGPL file
without changing the LGPL statement, your are putting your code
under LGPL (or it is not distributable).  However you can change
the license from LGPL to pure GPL by simply changing the license

Hope this attempt at an analysis helps clarify things.


This message is hastily written, please ignore any unpleasant wordings,
do not consider it a binding commitment, even if its phrasing may
indicate so. Its contents may be deliberately or accidentally untrue.
Trademarks and other things belong to their owners, if any.

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