Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Gordon Messmer yinyang at eburg.com
Fri Jul 25 07:07:05 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Gordon Messmer wrote:
>> Any code under a compatible license can be combined with GPL code.  
>> The GPL applies to the "work as a whole", but does not remove the 
>> license from the other parts which are under compatible licenses.  
>> They can be removed from the GPLed work and reused under their 
>> original license, as protected by copyright law, and as outlined by 
>> the link above.
> That may be what the link says.  It's not what the license actually 
> says.

It *is* what the license says.  It's just not what you *think* the 
license says.  You're confusing your interpretation of what the license 
says, for what the license says.

> And probably not what many copyright holders understand it to say.

Do you know of one, or are you just making a straw man argument?

>> The GPL doesn't actually change the terms of the permissively licensed 
>> code.
> It says it does within the distribution as a whole.  If the terms don't 
> apply would it mention the work-as-a-whole at all?

The terms do apply to the "work as a whole".  When a piece of code under 
a compatible license is removed from the work, it is no longer a part of 
the whole, and the original license applies.

You do not, and can not, change the license on software that you didn't 
write.  You do not change the license on code by including it in a GPLed 
work.  Any code that you include, written by someone else, remains under 
their license.

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