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Re: xchat is now shareware in windoze

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes:

> Scripsit Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu>
>> You're not considering all the cases.  It is true that Debian's
>> license to the original works persists.  But we won't have a license
>> to the derivative work, because the upstream author didn't have the
>> right to prepare that work, much less license it.
> Are you arguing that the GPL fails the Tentacles of Evil test?

I wouldn't bring up the Tentacles of Evil test, since I think it's
overbroad and a bit silly.  That said...

> Your position seems to be that anyone who has derived some GPL'ed
> software B from other people's GPL'ed work A can retrospectively
> revoke the GPL license for B by offering a shareware version of it (in
> breach of the license terms for A).

No, only that the authors of A will revoke their license to make and
distribute B on some actions on the part of B's author.

That is, the GPL:

2b says that the modified work is licensed *as a whole* to third parties under
the terms of this license. (emphasis mine)

4: However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you
under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as
such parties remain in full compliance.

6: Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.

Most importantly, notice that in 6 the original licensor grants rights
regarding the Program, not works based on it.  The rights to the
modified program come only from 2b.  So when the current maintainer
loses his rights in 2b because of 4, we continue to have the rights
granted in 6, and... hm.

You know, I'm reading 4 again and realizing that it says "from you,"
speaking to the current maintainer.  You're right.  The only way
Debian can get in trouble is if it distributes a modified version
created *after* the current maintainer lost his rights.

> If that is true we will have to remove from main all GPL'ed programs
> whose current maintainer is not their sole author.

No, this is no different from the case where the current maintainer
does anything else to illegally use material written by others in his

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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