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Re: OT: GPL Question



Andy Pieters wrote:

Hi all

Thank you for your time and interest in my question.

I would like to clarify some points.

The client that requested the software to be built argues that he doesn't want to redistribute the source code and does not want to give distribution rights to the people he sells the product to.

So technically, could I do this:

1. Release my product as propriety licensed software without the icons and the LGPL'ed code ->Yes


No, not if the product relies on the GPL'd code.

2. Either put in the same release a package 'module x', licensed GPL, package 'icons', licensed GPL


No, you cannot do this.

or
Should I release them seperatly from the product and with a different license (GPL this time)
or
Can I release the GPL'ed code as patch, with a GPL for that patch?


No you cannot do this either.

The posibilities are legio but I want to be very carefull and fully respect legislation. I am afraid I'm not that good an artist to design the icons myself...



You cannot take code under the GPL and strip it of its rights. So including GPL'd code in your proprietary product is definitely not allowed - future users have to have the same rights as you have.


Here is a quote from gnu.org;

*If I use a piece of software that has been obtained under the GNU GPL, am I allowed to modify the original code into a new program, then distribute and sell that new program commercially? <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#TOCGPLCommercially>*

"You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.

These requirements are the condition for including the GPL-covered code you received in a program of your own."


In short, your best bet is to not use GPL code unless you are going to release your product under the GPL. Why not advise your employer of the benefits of the GPL in hopes of releasing the code under the GPL? Also be aware that there is a web site that tracks GPL violations called http://gpl-violations.org/,



Here are some resources to help you with a decision:

GPL FAQ - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL
GNU licenses - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html
Mailing lists - http://lists.gnu.org/

Best regards,

Jeremiah Foster



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