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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio and GPL licensing issues (again)

From: Greg Troxel
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio and GPL licensing issues (again)
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 18:28:35 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/22.1 (berkeley-unix)

First, you seem to be in need of actual legal advice from someone
qualified and licensed to provide it.

Your question has a serious misconception, that code has a single
license.  The GPL cannot require that other code be under the GPL; it
can only prohibit distribution of a derived work unless some conditions
are met.  Typically this is "in order to distribute the derived work
from GPL component foo, you must also distribute the entire source code
for the derived work under the GPL".

However, there is no reason why you cannot have work bar (all of which
you wrote), and GPL work foo, and link them to a derived work baz, and
then distribute baz and bar under the GPL, and also (not instead)
distribute bar under some other license, such as "If you pay us $10K you
can do whatever you want".  The point is that code being available under
the GPL does not prevent or prohibit proprietary derived works; it's the
lack of availability under a proprietary-compatible license that
prohibits that.

The issue of whether the source code of a program that #include's header
files and expects to link against libraries (where the headers/library
are GPL only) is a derived work is a murky question, and here you are
particularly in need of actual legal advice.  My current impression is
that there is not settled case law in this area, but IANAL, TINLA.

If you are an RA, the university may hold copyright under the
work-for-hire doctrine, and I would advise resolving all these issues
before the code is written.

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