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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

@ 12/05/2004 15:39 : wrote Raul Miller :

 But some people have made claims that there are certain things we
 require of the license (such as the complete absence of restrictions
 on the right to create derivative works), regardless of the law.

hmmm. In this, I side with you.

> Let's see, step-by-step: 1. I get gcc's sources; 1. (a) I have a
> valid license to it; 2. I get metafont sources; 2. (a) I also have
> a valid license to this; -- up to this point, no license violation
> 3. I make modifications to gcc and to metafont, taking care of :
> 3. (a) not removing any copyright (C) notices -- they are already
> there, I don't need to put them, I received gcc under the terms of
> the GPL, with the notices, and the disclaimer (as to satisfy
> GPL#1); 3. (b) marking the changed files as changed as to satisfy
> GPL#2, 'a';

 Here's where you start running into problems: GPL#2 requires you
 satisfy GPL#1 for the modified work, which now includes stuff you do
 not have the right to put under GPL's terms.

yeah, but as I did not redistribute (licensing/sublicensing) my derived work yet, so I'm not in trouble ...

 The subsequent steps you've proposed do not rectify this issue.

 Alternatively you've not yet created a work combining both, but when
 you do reach that point you'll still have this issue:


> 4. I will write my files needed to integrate both, taking all the
> necessary precautions 3 a-d above. Notice that probably my files


> completely unrelated) are derived works both of metafont and of
> gcc. -- no license violation.

 What are the appropriate license notices you've placed? How do they

They are not appropriate LICENSE notices, they are COPYRIGHT notices:

Copyright (C) 1991-2004 FSF
Copyright (C) 1997-2004 LaTeX whatever made metafont
Copyright (C) 2004 Humberto Massa, integration work of gcc and metafont
the result of this is undistributable, for the licenses are incompatible;
however, you can use my script at http://humbertomassa.org/makemetagcc.sh
to produce a similar copy.
All rights reserved

 satisfy the GPL requirements about the license on the work as a

GPL#2(b) only applies to distribution. I'll quote it to you, again:

b) You must 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.

with emphasis in "any work that you distribute or publish".

 And then there's the copies you would need to make for test and debug

those are ok.

 Of course, if this is done in a jurisdiction where copyright isn't
 required for these copies then there is no issue. Also, until the

It is not the case that copyright isn't required, is more accurately: once you have a valid license to a piece of software, the copies involved in its use are fair game.

 author(s) of gcc do not care to act on this case then you are not

In some cases, in Brasil, you can be prosecuted by the State for copyright infringement, even if the copyright holder presses no charges. I'm sure other jurisdictions have similar cases.

 to be subject to penalties for infringement. But that's not because
 the GPL has granted copyright for this case.

No, that's because there is a solid limit in what the GPL can do to take away your freedoms. It can trade freedoms it would grant you, subject to compliance to things, but it cannot take away from you freedoms the law give you. Quoting myself (my post -- essay -- about the GPL of today is inspired by my need to answer you begin 100% sure of what I am talking about):

bool can_i_do(something) {
 if( copyright_law_grants_me_the_right_of(something) )
   return true;
 if( is_in_rights_granted_from_1_to_11_above(something) &&
   the_SUBJECT_TO_clauses_are_satisfied_by(something) )
     return true;
 return false;


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