Re: Misunderstanding GPL's terms and conditions as restrictions

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Alexandre Oliva wrote:
On Jul 26, 2008, Les Mikesell <[email protected]> wrote:

Gordon Messmer wrote:
In the context of a legal interpretation of a distribution license
(copyright license), "work as a whole" does not mean each individual
part.
Of course it does, or proprietary parts could be included - or
linkages that make them a required part of the work as a whole.
GPLv2 section 2 says: (emphasis mine)

   the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License,
   whose *permissions* for other licensees extend to the entire whole,
   and *thus* to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

IOW, the whole is under the terms and conditions of the GPL.  The
permissions (1-3, in GPLv2) apply to each and every part as a
consequence of this.
Not _just_ the permissions. The exact terms of the license must apply:

 b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

Section 6 says:

6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
   Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
   original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject
   to these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
IOW, you get the GPL permissions by receiving the program, and
upstream distributors can't have restricted any of these permissions.
I don't see anything that would stop any of them from granting
additional permissions over their own contributions.
There can be additional permissions, but if you need the ones granted by
the GPL, you must apply them to the work as a whole.
Now, back to section 2, and your favorite 2b.  It says that you may
modify the program and distribute modified versions of the program
under this license, as long as you (among other things) grant the same
permissions, subject to the same conditions, to recipients of the
modified program and derived versions thereof.  Again, it doesn't say
you can't grant additional permissions.
It says the 'terms of this License'. You can't have the terms of this
license without the terms of 2b also being applied.
It doesn't say you have to
impose restrictions that stop others from enjoying additional
permissions you might have gotten yourself.  It doesn't say you can't
enjoy any additional permissions you got yourself.
If you've agreed to the GPL's requirements, then you have agreed that
you won't. It says the exact GPL terms must be applied or a modfication
can't be distributed. A dual license could be applied but the terms
prohibit any alternative from being used if you need the permissions
provided only by the GPL.
Now, what does agreeing to this amount to?  "You may breathe in, as
long as you breathe out.  Do you agree?"
If you agree to
    "cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License"
then it is pretty clear that you can't pick a piece out and use some other license when you distribute or publish it.
If you had no reason to agree to the GPL at all, you'd be free to use
other terms of a dual-licensed work.
--
  Les Mikesell
   [email protected]


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