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Re: GPL and other licences


From: Alfred M\. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 16:03:16 +0100

   > This boils down to: Can you break the law at home?  Of course you
   > can't.  So the same applies to the GPL.  Since you cannot mix two
   > incompatible licenses legally, then you cannot do this in the privacy
   > of your own internal use.  It would in the end still be a violation of
   > copyright law.

   No it does not quite boil down to that.  What it boils down to is
   whether the GPL grants permission to so mix the software at home as
   long as you do not distribute the combination.

It does boil down to that, you are still violating the license, and in
turn copyright law.  Just that nobody knows of it so nobody can sue
you.

   Looking at the GPL, it seems to me that modifying GPL software and
   not distributing it merely requires providing some notices in the
   software.  Unless the non GPLed software has some usage restriction
   that prevents you modifying or combining the other code with GPL
   software, I believe that the GPL allows you to combine or modify as
   you like on your own system for your own use.  In fact, you could
   use the combination internally within a single business
   organization as doing so does not constitute distribution.

   No significant GPL restriction kicks in until you try to distribute
   your combination.

And if you use it internally in a business then you are distributing
the program to anyone who uses it.

You are asking if you can break the law as long as nobody knows about
it, or if only a selected few know about it.  Sorry, this isn't how
law works.




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