Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Tue Jul 22 17:21:48 UTC 2008

On Jul 22, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>> but if you've agreed to the GPL terms covering that copy, you have
>>> agreed not to
>> Again, think dual licensing.  The phrase:
>> nothing else grants you permission to modify or
>> distribute the Program or its derivative works.

> Yes, so if you want to distribute a copy under the GPL, you must agree
> to its terms, which then cover the entire work.

But that does not take away any other rights you might have as to
specific parts.

> But both licenses can't apply at once.

Why not?  Can't you redistribute a dual-licensed package?  Do you
think you have to choose between the two licenses before you're
entitled to redistribute it, and then distribute it only under one of
the licenses?

That's not the way it works.  You have permissions.  You can choose to
use them any time you like.

What might happen, in the specific case of licenses with a termination
clause, is that if you perform some action that contradicts the
license, you may have your license to the whole terminated.

If this is what you're getting at, you may indeed be onto something.
But this is beyond my knowledge of copyright history, and anything I
say further would be speculation.

Thanks for bringing this issue into my attention.  I'd never looked at
it from this angle before.

>> Not because the GPL says so, but rather because that's how
>> copyright (pure, as in not-a-contract) licenses work.

> But as you keep pointing out, copyright law is what keeps you from
> distributing the GPL'd work unless you agree to its terms.

My point was that you don't have to agree to its terms if you have a
different license to distribute some particular portion.  You can
clearly do that.  Your concern is that you might then no longer have
the GPL permissions as to the whole.  This concern was never clear to

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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