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Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave ...

Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave ...

Posted Mar 30, 2009 4:33 UTC (Mon) by jeffnorman (guest, #57684)
In reply to: Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave ... by ldo
Parent article: OSBC: Life at the edge of the GPL

Just for the record, the GPL (version 2 or 3) does NOT say that you are
subject to reciprocity merely by using the code. It is perfectly okay to
"use" GPL'd code so long as you do not distribute (or, under GPL3,
propagate) a derivative work based upon such code.

It is hardly a tangled web to say that you should avoid creating derivative
works of GPL code if you are not able (or willing) to distribute such
derivative work itself under the GPL.

You can think of this advice in two ways: (a) I am showing clients how to
avoid the GPL, or (b) I am showing clients how to comply with the GPL. But
if "avoiding" the GPL == "compliance" with the GPL, what possible objection
could there be?

Only if you think that the GPL's reciprocity requirement should apply to
any use of a covered work would you believe that the shimming strategies I
discuss would be "wrong," or violative of the "spirit" of the GPL; but that
extreme position, which would extend the GPL's reciprocity requirement
beyond copyright protection, has never been espoused by the FSF so far as I
know.


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Another way to think of it

Posted Mar 30, 2009 19:25 UTC (Mon) by dmarti (subscriber, #11625) [Link]

There's one more way to think of it. If you're writing software, how do you structure your interfaces in such a way as to maximize the likelihood that someone developing a product that uses the software will create a derivative work? This might be important if, for example, you're in the business of selling GPL exceptions. So I guess you want to arrange the fields in your structs as artfully and expressively as possible, and use lots of macros that each drop an expressive chunk of code into your caller's project. Or use C++ templates. The number of people who actually understand both software copyright law and C++ templates has got to be small enough that they can drive their hourly rates higher than your GPL exception price.

+1, hilarious

Posted Apr 7, 2009 0:37 UTC (Tue) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

> The number of people who actually understand both software
> copyright law and C++ templates has got to be small enough
> that they can drive their hourly rates higher than your GPL
> exception price.

LOL!


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