Subject: Re: Down with the GPL!
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 15:55:30 -0700


On 12 May 2005, at 15:43, Chris Maeda wrote:

> I think this language makes perfect sense for a closed-source software
> company.  At the last 3 software companies I've worked for (1 
> venture-funded
> startup, 2 public companies), it was forbidden to incorporate GPL 
> software
> into the product, but we used as much LGPL and Apache code as we could.

For the product, sure.

But in-house code (e.g. sysadmins) could reasonably benefit from GPL 
software and doing so would not leak mission-critical details.

Likewise there are other libraries that are just as risky.  E.g. 
ordering a copy of some royalty-bearing library out of the back of Dr 
Dobbs without management knowing.

My problem is that it singled out GPL (and LGPL) code.  I consider 
_that_ unreasonable.  To me the GPLed code is just licensed code, no 
more no less.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: DV Henkel-Wallace [mailto:gumby@henkel-wallace.org]
> Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 4:47 PM
> To: Free Software for Business
> Subject: Down with the GPL!
>
> I asked our law firm for their standard employee confidentiality and
> assignment agreement for our company to use.  They are a large,
> well-respected form used by many many startups and big companies.
>
> It contained the following fascinating sentence:
>
>      "I agree that I will not incorporate into any Company software
>        or otherwise deliver to Company any software code licensed
>        under the GNU GPL or LGPL or any other license that, by its
>        terms, requires or conditions the use or distribution of such
>        code on the disclosure, licensing, or distribution of any source
>        code owned or licensed by Company. "
>
> I had this changed this to say words to the effect  that I (nor any the
> other employee) would not incorporate third-party software that might
> in any way affect our ability to redistribute (or not) any software
> without permission of a company officer.  Note that the latter
> restricts the use of Visual C++, c# etc as well!
>
> I am astonished to find the text in a standard document.
>
> Grr.
>
> -g