Release comercial application's sources as GPL but with restriction in usage

Evan Prodromou evan at
Thu Feb 24 11:19:40 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-16-02 at 19:33 -0500, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. quoted above
> >> Nor could the GPL legally preclude one from charging for the
> >> distribution of a  "modification" for which you (the licensee) own the
> >> copyright - - in my opinion.
> >
> > Your opinion is incorrect. Copyright holders in Berne Convention
> > countries can control how derivative works are distributed.
> >
> I think Evan misunderstood my point, any rate, we seem to be saying 
> exactly the same thing.

That wasn't my intent, since what you are saying is wrong.

You said that the GPL _could_not_ preclude charging for distribution of
derivative works. I agree that it _does_not_, but I think that it
_could_. There are plenty of (non-Open-Source) licenses that don't allow
the licensee to receive compensation for distributing derivative works.
The licensor gets to make these restrictions because copyright owners
have some control over distribution of derivative works.

If the licensee makes a modification to a work, that modification is a
derivative work and subject to the licensor's whims. Which is why, say,
I can't sell T-shirts with pictures of the Little Mermaid with a
Salvador Dali moustache.


Evan Prodromou
evan at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list