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Question about GNU license


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#21 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4361

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Please note the anyone who talks about the "GNU license" is exhibiting the fact that they have no knowledge of the topic and their advice should generally be disregarded.

Discussing the GPL, LGPL, AGPL, or GFDL in any of their variants is a different matter.

Only a lawyer is qualified to be a lawyer and even then there may be some question. If you are doing business, you need to spend the cost of doing business. You will find a workman is worth his wages, either the easy way or the hard way.
Stephen M. Webb
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#22 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2545

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

Please note the anyone who talks about the "GNU license" is exhibiting the fact that they have no knowledge of the topic and their advice should generally be disregarded.

Discussing the GPL, LGPL, AGPL, or GFDL in any of their variants is a different matter.

Only a lawyer is qualified to be a lawyer and even then there may be some question. If you are doing business, you need to spend the cost of doing business. You will find a workman is worth his wages, either the easy way or the hard way.


Using the terminology "GNU licence" is mildly incorrect yes but mirroring it back to the OP is not in of itself an indication that advice should be generally disregarded. Call it laziness on my behalf for not referring it fully as the title of the link read "GNU General Public License, version 2" or its"Lesser" cousin and just simply cutting it down to GNU license in keeping with the OP's header and moreover to not overly complicate advice with extra letters.

I would be interested if you have a specific argument against the advice proferred.

#23 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4361

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

The Free Software Foundation has written a number of licenses, including the General Public License, the Lesser General Public License, and the Affero General Public License. The Free Software Foundation has also sponsored a project it entitled "GNU', which was an effort (mostly successful) to replace Unix. Much of the software in the GNU project is licensed using the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (also known as the GPL).

A discussion about a contract with GNU is hardly relevant to a discussion about a copyright holder selling his work privately while also distributing it under the GPL. When it comes to legal matters, the right words are important. Very, very important. You can not simply choose words arbitrarily and expect them to convey the correct meaning.
Stephen M. Webb
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#24 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2545

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:25 AM

@Dannielum: First of all allow me to apologise as the purpose of your thread has skewed somewhat into the beginnings of a debate between myself and Bregma.

When it comes to legal matters, the right words are important. Very, very important. You can not simply choose words arbitrarily and expect them to convey the correct meaning.


Of course I can. Specifically to the case of this thread did you apprehend a confusion by Daniellum as to what I was referring to in anyway or would you accept that he understood what was being referred to and made sound cognitive judgements moreover did you presume by his header thread that he had no idea what he was referring to because he referred to a "GNU license". I do admit the entire point of this thread could be completely irrelevant if by circumstance the OP had linked the incorrect license appropriate to his work etc. but in the absence of actually sitting down with all of his paperwork and making a determination for myself, I have to make the assumption that he has done his homework to a degree and linked the appropriate source document. The GNU General Public License, version 2 was asked for and it was linked, it is common sense to understand that this was the primary reference document in the course of the conversation that occured. No other document was put forward to confuse the issue through identification issue and if indeed that had happened I would have altered aspects of my answer to ensure identification was not in doubt. However this is not the case, only the one document was linked by which all parties were referring to. If all parties refer to an object with different names but a complete understanding of the meaning and identification of what they are referring to then there is no misapprehension. However you do have a point of validity which you did not raise. A party external to the parties engaging the conversation might fail to perceive the conversation in a valid way i.e. someone else reading this forum.

However the above quote that I have selected is inherently flawed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_interpretation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_interpretation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpreting_contracts_in_English_law

You cannot choose the "right words". Instead you choose words to impart the intent and meaning and you pray like the devil that you have successfully achieved that purpose, because if an alternative interpratation can legitimately be found, it will be in the legal system because that is what lawyers do. You will argue that I incorrectly used an inappropriately created term, I agreed with you in my previous post that I had but with the stipulation that the second part of your statement was erroneous i.e. without validity. I again point out that at no time in the thread's discussion was there confusion given by any of the parties as to the identity of the document being referenced being different to the one linked. Indeed clear identification of the document was not raised until your initial post.

Do I agree with the ideals of your post? Absolutely. But sir you are too focussed on one element and attempting to invalidate everything else by virtue of that element being incorrect. This is not math nor a pure science where such stratagems hold validity, this is the body of law and the nature of that beast is always being re-interpreted. So I shall again refer to my final point of the previous post, re-edited.

Excepting the issue of the GNU General Public License, version 2 document being referred to by an "incorrect" identification, do you have any issue with respect to the advice that was given? This is what interests me as this goes to the point of this entire thread, providing aid to the OP and if you have a point of concern or something I have missed I would be interested.

Please note that this in no way intended as a flame or other type of attack upon you.

#25 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4068

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:34 AM


Note that you only have the right to sell your code. If you have contributions of others in there, you need to get their consent.


You are correct sir. However if applying that to the GNU part then permissions are automatically granted under the licence so long as the documentation is crediting it. As to other parties definitely, unless it is under one organisation umbrella in which case the company owns the license and not the employees.

That's a very dangerous thing to say. It is either outright wrong or could at least be interpreted wrongly.

A contributor consents to the terms of the GPL. As such, he consents that his contributions are free as by the definition in the GPL. He also consents to the other terms, e.g. that you (or someone else, even someone not related to the project in any way) may copy, distribute, charge money for a copy of your library or program, and whatnot --- as long as they comply with the GPL, and only under this condition.

However, the contributor does not consent to, and the GPL is very clear about this, that you are not allowed to re-license (for money or otherwise does not matter) the code in a way that gives the user less rights than the GPL grants. Thus, if you sell something that is under GPL to someone else knowing they will not make their final product GPL compliant (as in e.g. making source available and allowing updates, adaptation, etc.), then you may of course always do that as the sole author. You are always free to neglect or sell your own self-imposed rights.

But, the moment you have as much as one contributor and you do this without explicit consent, you're violating that contributor's rights (and the GPL).

#26 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2545

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:44 AM


Note that you only have the right to sell your code. If you have contributions of others in there, you need to get their consent.


You are correct sir. However if applying that to the GNU part then permissions are automatically granted under the licence so long as the documentation is crediting it. As to other parties definitely, unless it is under one organisation umbrella in which case the company owns the license and not the employees.

That's a very dangerous thing to say. It is either outright wrong or could at least be interpreted wrongly.

A contributor consents to the terms of the GPL. As such, he consents that his contributions are free as by the definition in the GPL. He also consents to the other terms, e.g. that you (or someone else, even someone not related to the project in any way) may copy, distribute, charge money for a copy of your library or program, and whatnot --- as long as they comply with the GPL, and only under this condition.

However, the contributor does not consent to, and the GPL is very clear about this, that you are not allowed to re-license (for money or otherwise does not matter) the code in a way that gives the user less rights than the GPL grants. Thus, if you sell something that is under GPL to someone else knowing they will not make their final product GPL compliant (as in e.g. making source available and allowing updates, adaptation, etc.), then you may of course always do that as the sole author. You are always free to neglect or sell your own self-imposed rights.

But, the moment you have as much as one contributor and you do this without explicit consent, you're violating that contributor's rights (and the GPL).


+1 Very true. I did not take into account 3rd parties under the same system (GNU GPL) being utilised.
.

#27 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 741

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:35 AM

Surely it was the OP who called it the "GNU license", and he was the one asking advice, not giving it? Stormynature only referred to it as that, as that was what the OP claimed the license was called.

Only a lawyer is qualified to be a lawyer and even then there may be some question.

Well indeed... but then we might as well throw away this forum Posted Image
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