Subject: Re: SOS license
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 10 Nov 1999 19:19:23 -0500

   Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 01:49:37 -0500
   From: Alex Nicolaou <anicolao@cgl.uwaterloo.ca>

   I didn't mean that the GPL restricts use; it doesn't. But it restricts
   modifications to those which do not violate the license, and the license
   requires the banner which appears during gdb's startup that says that it
   is free software and that the *end user* is granted rights under the
   GPL's license. So I was trying to say that you are in violation of the
   license if you remove that banner from the "most usual way of starting
   the program", even if you never ship your modified version of gdb.

That's not clear to me.  The relevant clause, clause 2, says ``You may
modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of it, thus
forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute such
modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided
that you also meet all of these conditions....''

Note that there is a conjunction there.  The GPL says that if you do A
and B, you must obey certain conditions.  Here A is ``modify your copy
or copies...'' and B is ``copy and distribute such modifications...''
I don't see any restriction in the GPL on doing A.  Clause 1 lays out
restrictions on doing B.  Clause 2 lays out restrictions on doing A
and B together.  I don't see any restrictions on doing A.

   That
   means I can't produce a gdb patch that you're allowed to apply, if I
   wish to charge you from it and restrict you from giving it to a friend.
   This I think is the GPL's intent: the point is to make it so that I
   can't make money selling patches to GPL software. My intent is not to
   restrict this type of change.

The GPL permits making money selling patches.  It's true that the GPL
says that you can't restrict your customers from providing the patches
to their friends.

Ian