GPL does not ask you to give up rights.
Posted Mar 2, 2011 23:52 UTC (Wed) by jthill
In reply to: GPL does not ask you to give up rights.
Parent article: Red Hat's "obfuscated" kernel source
you know as well as I what the clarification that makes the examples you listed legal
If you check back you'll see I didn't ask for a clarification that would explain why those examples are legal. I asked for a clarification that explains how an assertion about requirements on private derivation is relevant in a discussion about exercising licensed public distribution. The rebuke for the gratuitous overreach on private use stands.
I'm not sure what "to the extent that you have copyright on the result, it's due to your contribution" even means.
Well, I kind of took it as read that copyright in GPL'd works is almost entirely due to application of authors' patches, and that reverting an author's changes means that author has no copyright on the resulting work. Patches are contributions in any sense of the word, contributions in other forms are generally also revertible, "contributor" is the word v3 uses, and the exact extent of the changes necessary to excise an author's copyright interest is irrelevant here. That all seemed so obvious it needed no more than acknowledgment.
If you get the agreement of all the copyright holders, you all can certainly refuse to grant additional licenses without payment.
I think you might have missed that that makes my point: with unrestricted copyright authority, one can demand money for a distribution license. Authors employing the GPL ask that you (as they do) not exercise that and other rights in exchange for the GPL's benefits. You have to give up either the rights or the license to get the other.
To finish bringing it back on topic, Red Hat offers timely, warranted service in exchange for your not exercising the GPL the instant you receive it. You have to give up either the right or the service to get the other.
Don't forget that you (as Red Hat does) still get the software courtesy of the GPL, nor that Red Hat also makes sure no one loses what I think most people regard as its main benefit: they also distribute their work freely.
They do so after a delay that takes it out of the realm of service, i.e. current work for which it's ethical to charge the people who want it right now, and into the realm of adequately compensated work that can be distributed at no cost. That they do so completes the GPL's positive-feedback loop.
Publishing a repo is on its way to being the standard way to distribute GPL'd and other free software, but it seems in Red Hat's experience it's only possible to distribute their complete set in a way a little more like software was ordinarily distributed when the GPL was written -- mostly tarballs as I recall, but I wasn't tracking then -- if they want to execute their business model. OK. That feedback loop is what I care about.
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