How To Break The GPL

David Johnson arandir at
Tue Mar 7 04:18:46 UTC 2000

On Mon, 06 Mar 2000, Schilling, Richard wrote:

> BUUUUUUUUUUUUT (here it comes) . . . in the third setence, (starts with "But
> when you distribute . . .")  if Alice's Program is BASED ON software
> licensed under the GPL, then the GPL applies to Alice's program.  In the
> original scenario, where Alice distributed a library to Bob, Alice's work
> was BASED ON the GPLed code, and therefore would fall under the GPL.

The problem with this is that the GPL is very clear about what a "work based
on the Program" means. Section 0 defines it as:

	"a "work based on the Program" means either the Program or any
	derivative work under copyright law"

It doesn't matter what you or I thinks "based on" means. All that matters
is what copyright says about derivative works, since that is how RMS defined it.
If you take that phrase in section 2 and replace it with "derivative work", it
reads very differently.

David Johnson...

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