Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Jul 24 18:55:48 UTC 2008

Gordon Messmer wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
>> Its not that simple.  Say you receive a copy of a mostly bsd-origin 
>> work  previously modified by adding a few GPL-covered lines and 
>> applying the GPL to the whole as required for #3 at that step.  You 
>> now agree to the GPL terms in order to be permitted to give someone 
>> else a copy of the whole work. 
> Yes, that is true for the "work as a whole".
>> At this point, you've agreed not to pick out parts of the code and 
>> distribute under the license of its origin.
> That's not true.  Even if the terms of the GPL *said* that it was true, 
> copyright law doesn't allow it that power.  You cannot change the 
> license on a work for which you are not the copyright holder.

It doesn't change the license, it denies the right to share the GPL 
covered portions if you don't apply the GPL terms to the whole.  If you 
can ignore the GPL and do what you want completely under other terms (as 
on a completely dual-licensed work or picking out only a separately 
licensed file instead of the rest) you can use the other license.  If 
you need to copy a GPL-only portion, you must agree to apply GPL terms 
to the whole to get that right.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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