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Red Hat and the GPL

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 17:38 UTC (Wed) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
In reply to: Red Hat and the GPL by vonbrand
Parent article: Red Hat and the GPL

You're making the standard engineers mistake of considering that boundaries defined by technicalities in one field map to boundaries in the legal world. They don't. Judges are juries are often perfectly free to gloss over non-legal technicalities, and even take things like human intent into consideration.

(Another common example of such a mistake is thinking that GPL derivation status can be washed away by adding technical boundaries like shared libraries or network sockets).

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Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 20:33 UTC (Wed) by vonbrand (guest, #4458) [Link]

I'm quite aware that legal and technical worlds are apart. But that doesn't make that to distribute source "in the preferred form for modification" you have to create new artifacts (patches) that arguably aren't that useful for direct modification. Sure, said patches help in reconstructing the history and (via attached comments) the motivation for changes that have been made. But GPL looks forward (build on what you have got) not backwards (go scrounge around in the history of the code) and even less considers creating chimaeras out of applying a random subset of the changes that got the code as it is today. Perhaps that was a mistake in drafting the GPL, take that up with the appropiate people.

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