BSD / GPL compatibility

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at
Wed Feb 16 05:14:40 UTC 2000

David Johnson wrote:

> You cannot argue that the GPL forbids Fair Use because of its derivation
> clauses. If you do so, you are arguing against yourself, since the GPL is not a
> contract. A much better tack would be to define what Fair Use is in relation to
> source code.

Fair use for source code should include:

- writing a book with example code taken from open source projects in
order to highlight good or poor programming technique

- gathering together open-sourced implementations of algorithms in order
to compare them against each other and asses their merits

In general, any "meta-use" of a portion of the source code should be
acceptable, that is, any re-use of a portion of the code whose purpose
is to provide commentary or insight into the original and not replace
the use or function of the original.


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