Combining GPLed code with codes of other licenses

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Sat Jul 7 03:14:52 UTC 2007

John Cowan wrote:
> Joseph Hick scripsit:
>> 1. The programmer combined GPLed code with code covered under an
>> incompatible license, added his own code and released the work under
>> GPL license.

IANAL, but this would be a violation of the incompatible license.

>> 2. Same as above, but he released the work under the incompatible
>> license.

This would be a violation of the GPL.

>> what are the penalties the programmer or its *users*[1] might have
>> to pay if he refuses to discontinue such distributions and decides
>> to continue?

I think this is unlikely in the long term.  Either the distributor will
stop under pressure, or if the copyright holder presses it, a court will
force the distributor to stop with an injunction.

> Mostly the programmer would have to live with the knowledge that he was
> not a morally worthy person; if the facts were to be discovered, there
> would also be a large amount of public opprobrium available to go around.

Some copyright holders, such as the FSF, will definitely consider legal
action if you ignore requests to comply.

Matt Flaschen

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