Subject: Re: Ransom (long) (was: Mandatory donations...)
From: Adam Theo <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 00:24:21 -0400

Zimran Ahmed wrote:

>>sorry, i must be very dense because I simply cannot understand why that ransom
>>model is incompatible with the GPL.
>>You have some GPL'd code. You make some additions. YOU DO NOT RELEASE THE
>>CODE. you have done nothing to violate the GPL.

Kevin A. Burton wrote:
> Until someone says: "hey, can I get the source code to your package?" and you
> say "no, not until the ransom is met".   Then you have violated the GPL:

Actually, I'm quite sure that Zimran is correct. A polite observation is
that the GPL cannot enforce it's "viral" nature on code that has not
been released yet. That is the key factor. If/once the code is ever
released, it *must* be GPL'ed, and any changes must be made public at no
cost. It is in fact impossible for the GPL to enforce it's viral nature
on code that has not been released. The GPL is a copyright license, and
copyright law can only cover distribution, not internal use and

> Here is the relevant section of the LICENSE
> 2. 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:
>     a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that
>     you changed the files and the date of any change.
>     b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or


>     in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be
>     licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of
>     this License.
> - -- END LICENSE --

The above contains markers to the relevant part of the license, I believe.

See folks, I really did listen to all that advice this list gave me 
those many months ago when I asked about open source copyright licensing :-)

    /\    -- Adam Theo, Age 22, Tallahassee FL USA --
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