Subject: Re: GNU and classified software
From: Crispin Cowan <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 16:42:48 -0700

"Jonathan S. Shapiro" wrote:

> > Why is it relevant whether or not the code is a work for hire when
> > deciding whether giving it to the government is distributing it?
> If a GPL compiler is handed from one employee to another, it's not a
> distribution -- its a transfer within a single legal entity.

So here's an evil meme:  Dr. Crispie's Evil Proprietary GCC Club.  Membership
is $500/year.  Members get access to our private fork of GCC.  Members may not
share code outside the organization, or they forfeit their membership.  Giving
code from one member to another is not distribution -- its a transfer within a
single legal entitity

No, I don't want to do such a thing.  But what is to prevent a (group of) evil
people from doing so?

Of course, this is a 2-edged sword:  solutions that are effective at
preventing Evil Clubs likely also make it impossible for a company to have a
private  in-house fork at all.


Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc.
Security Hardened Linux Distribution: