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Re: Distribution of media content together with GPLv2 code in one package?

On Sun, 4 Apr 2010 17:33:11 +0200 Rudolf Polzer wrote:

> On a related note - does the GPL-2 even require that the source code release be
> under the GPL-2 too?

Yes, it does, as far as I can tell.

> The wording seems to indicate that a GPL-2 conforming
> source release is not even required:
> |   3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
> | under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
> | Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
> | 
> |     a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
> |     source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
> |     1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
> So, only Sections 1 and 2 have to be fulfilled for the source code release!
> This basically means: the source release does not have to be covered by the
> full GPL, but only two clauses of it - one of which does not even apply to an
> unmodified source code release.

I don't think this is the correct interpretation.

It says that the source code "must be distributed under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above".
IMHO, this means that you have to distribute source following the same
rules that apply to source-only distribution (verbatim source
distribution, Section 1, and/or modified source distribution, Section 2,
depending on your case).

Section 1 requires that you put an appropriate copyright notice, keep
intact notices that refers to the GPL, and give a copy of the GPL text.
This means that, when you distribute a verbatim copy of the source, the
copy will be and stay licensed under the GPL.

Section 2, clause b, requires that the modified source be licensed as a
whole under the GPL.
This means that, when you distribute a modified copy of the source, the
copy will have to be licensed as a whole under the GPL.
Also, please note that Section 2 itself refers to Section 1, so it also
inherits the rules included in Section 1.

At least, this is how I have interpreted the GNU GPL v2 for quite a
long time.
If anyone knows better, please correct me.

> On Sun, Apr 04, 2010 at 07:25:58PM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> > Right. That is a problem with any software though, BSD, GPL or whatever.
> > Nothing ensures that upstream authors are sane about releasing code.
> Well, the GPL at least requires a source release in some way from the author.

Not when the author is the sole copyright holder: in that case, he/she
is not subject to the license he/she chose to adopt.
A copyright holder does not need a license in order to exercise any of
his/her exclusive rights on his/her own work.

Hence, it is my understanding that the sole copyright holder for a work
could distribute it under the terms of the GPL, but without making
source available.
That would make the work legally undistributable for anyone else, since
the GPL requires source distribution, but nobody would have access to
source and consequently nobody would be able to comply with the license.

This is of course Bad™ and should not be done.
However, it seems to be legally possible.

 Need some pdebuild hook scripts?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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