Subject: Re: distributing GPL libreries
From: dtemeles@nvalaw.com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 12:04:16 -0400

 Tue, 15 Jul 2008 12:04:16 -0400
This is not legal advice -

Larry Rosen wrote:

"As third parties are not a) other branches of the same government  
institution, b) other divisions and/or subsidiaries of the same  
corporation, c) those who  are working for hire or otherwise  
consulting for you etc, there are a host of scenarios where you can  
benefit from GPL code without reciprocating."

Larry, where does the GPL define "third parties"?  I confess that I  
have not searched far and wide, but I do not see anything that would  
necessarily exclude the 3 categories you mention from the definition  
of third parties.  It would appear that this is a state law contract  
interpretation issue that could vary from state to state.

Also, the definition of "convey" referneces "other parties" rather  
than "third parties".  I suggest that the issue is not as clear as  
might first appear from your response.

Very truly yours,

Dave


Quoting Scott Shattuck <scott.shattuck@gmail.com>:

>
> On Jul 15, 2008, at 12:53 AM, David Woolley wrote:
>
>> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>>
>>> [LR:] Why should anyone want to discourage linking with non-GPL code? What
>>> does FSF's preference have to do with anything?
>>
>> For a start the FSF's preference is relevant because they are an   
>> example of someone who wants to discourage the use of their code in  
>>  programs which are not "free" by their definitions.  Basically  
>> it's  about not benefitting from the library unless you allow  
>> people to  benefit from your program in the same way.
>>
>
> If only that were true. The GPL explicitly allows a consumer of the
> library to benefit from the library without allowing others to benefit
> from their program in the same way -- except when they happen to ship
> the resulting work to one or more third parties. As third parties are
> not a) other branches of the same government institution, b) other
> divisions and/or subsidiaries of the same corporation, c) those who are
> working for hire or otherwise consulting for you etc, there are a host
> of scenarios where you can benefit from GPL code without reciprocating.
>
> I'd go so far as to say that the GPL isn't about freedom for the
> developer, it's about freedom for the consumer of the code (who just so
> happens to often be another developer). But the focus is on ensuring
> freedom to those who consume the code more than on what's best for the
> original developer (at least in so far as making sure the original
> developer's altruism is rewarded by seeing any/all updates or fixes to
> their code finding their way to the world at large).
>
> ss