PostgreSQL, OpenSSL, and the GPL
Posted Feb 18, 2011 0:14 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: PostgreSQL, OpenSSL, and the GPL
Parent article: PostgreSQL, OpenSSL, and the GPL
Your distributor relied on the license in order to create the CD containing the GPLed work and openssl. From then on out they were bound by the relevant licenses by virtue of the copying alone.
You've got this all turned around. A license doesn't restrict people; it permits them. You don't copy and then have to do what the license says; you meet the conditions of the license and then you have permission to copy. After you make that legally permitted copy, the license is irrelevant.
Some publishers extend their control with a contract (EULA): in exchange for a license to copy, the copier promises never to use Microsoft products in the future. Now the publisher can enforce that contract -- not the license. Some people believe a contract like that is formed whenever someone avails himself of a public license such as GPL. Some don't. But either way, the contract is quite distinct from the copyright license.
I agree with you that a copyright licensing scheme for readline could stop people from shipping readline in a package with openssl to be dynamically linked, and do it without involving any rights over derived works.
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