GPL does not ask you to give up rights.
Posted Mar 2, 2011 4:14 UTC (Wed) by JesseW
In reply to: GPL does not ask you to give up rights.
Parent article: Red Hat's "obfuscated" kernel source
It is important to clarify something here: If you create, let alone distribute, a derivative work without a license from the copyright holder of the work (or works) it is derived from, that is illegal.
You have no right to sell (or even give away) a license for the derived work unless you already possess a license to do the deriving. What the GPL says is that you can have a license to create a derivative work merely by following certain conditions, which do not include payment or notification to anyone, but do include licensing the derivative work under the GPL.
If the derivative work you want to create has components that are not derivative (i.e. that were written only by you), the GPL has nothing to say about them, and puts no restrictions on what you do with them. You are free to sell licenses for them, or do anything else that is legal.
While you do, in some sense, have a "right to charge a fee for a license to distribute your copyrighted works", you have no right to do so without the consent of all the copyright holders for a work. Derivative works have multiple copyright holders, all of whom need to consent before a license can be granted. All the GPL does is clarify the terms in which the other copyright holders will grant their necessary permissions. It takes nothing away from you.
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