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RE: Is this software really GPL?

Well, I'm using two different email addresses and computer systems -
it's my home system that's subscribed to Debian Legal, and I was
emailing from my work system ...

But as I see it, they (QM) are adding an extra restriction, as
proscribed by the GPL (clauses 6 and 7).

"If you distribute to subsidiaries, you may not stop them distributing
to the world". But the GPL explicitly recognises internal distribution
as a case where the GPL is not needed. QM are saying "you must apply the
GPL, even where the GPL itself says it does not apply". Or to word it
slightly differently, "you must not impose the normal rules of business
confidentiality or employee contract".

Actually, I think they've rewritten that section ... they pretty much
said as much to me that they rewrote the web site yesterday based on
previous emails I sent them. Unfortunately, I think my hard copy of the
original is at home. When I get home, I'm going to compare what's there
now with what was there last night. It should be interesting...

Oh well, at least it proves they're open to rational argument, and my
comment about SCO wasn't that justified. It's just that I tried to do
exactly what they're trying to do, and I ended up being convinced it was
impossible - to make sure nobody could wrest an Open Source project away
from me ...

TT can do it because they're trusted. MySQL can do it because they're
trusted. EasyCo are trying to do it with legal finesse ...


-----Original Message-----
From: Raul Miller [mailto:moth@debian.org] 
Sent: 20 October 2004 11:09
To: Anthony Youngman
Cc: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Is this software really GPL?

On Wed, Oct 20, 2004 at 08:04:31AM +0100, Anthony Youngman wrote:
> Sorry for lookout mangling my cut-n-paste - this isn't quite a proper
> reply ...

And the guy who admins this system claims I should be able to
email you now... so hopefully you won't have to do much more of

> Did you look at the thing about subsidiaries ... if you *choose* to
> distribute *source* to your subsidiaries, you are then *obliged* to
> *publish* your source to the *world*!

The closest I can find to this is a claim that distribution to
subsidiaries requires distribution under the GPL.  Which seems

The most akward expression of that is:

   For instance, if you are a corporate IT department, and your
   corporation has franchisees, or locally incorporated subsidiaries,
   delivery to any of these would be a de facto breach of the GPL unless
   you also publish the full source of the application, including any
   changes or local customizations of the source, to an independent
   freely available solution.

But even this doesn't say anything about having to distribute to anyone
other than who you distribute to.

Of course, it goes on to say:

   Please note that if you publish your work under the terms of the GPL,
   your competitors may fully use the knowledge and text you disseminate
   so long as they do so as permitted by the GPL.

That doesn't mean you have to distribute the source to your competitors.

Instead, it's pointing out that you can't prohibit employees [for
example, ad subsidiaries] from distributing it to your competitors or
to anyone else.  If you did, you'd be violating the terms of the GPL.



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