BSD / GPL compatibility

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rod at
Wed Feb 16 01:24:14 UTC 2000

When Efforts to Conceal May Actually Reveal:Whether First Amendment
Protection of Encryption Source Code and the OPEN SOURCE MOVEMENT Support
Re-drawing the Constitutional Line Between the First Amendment and Copyright
for Authors of Computer Software.

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
rod at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Grigg [mailto:iang at]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2000 4:46 PM
> To: license-discuss at
> Subject: BSD / GPL compatibility
> > > OK, so does the same apply in reverse?  I guess it does, so
> > > I can take any part of a GPLed work and shove it into my code
> > > and distrubute it as BSD.
> >
> > No, this is not possible. While programs distributed under the
> GPL may use
> > BSD (minux advertising clause) code the reverse does not apply.
> The GPL is
> > viral in this situation.
> I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear, here's a rehash.
> Derived works are a concept of law of copyright.  They are
> fairly broad, and applicable to all published works.  AFAIK,
> IANAL.  They are designed to protect the property rights of
> the author, whilst giving access to portions for fair use.
> If the feature of derived works applies to BSD covered code,
> then it probably equally well applies to GPL code.  If, indeed,
> copyright law is applicable and provides access and protections,
> then it would normally apply equally to all publishers.  It's
> not really a concept that a publisher can restrict the offering
> when publishing.
> Of course the big IF is whether copyright law has anything to
> do with it.  I believe it doesn't, in which case the concept of
> derived works do not apply to any licence-covered code.
> iang

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