Re: [dev] arrow in the knee because of the GNU GPL???

From: Sylvain BERTRAND <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 01:22:53 +0200

On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:30:28PM +0200, Kurt Van Dijck wrote:
> In my understanding, GPL enforces that derived work of your code
> will still be free to its users. This covers 2 major aspects:
> * One cannot repackage or modify GPL software and make it non-free
> I think that is a guarantee that your code will _stay_ free,
> even after modifications.
> * People that are not using the software, have absolutely no rights.
> If I modify my linux kernel on my system, even Linus himself has
> no rights to see.
> Strictly speaking, only users of my computer that runs that kernel
> can force me to give the sources.
> Am I wrong in this?

Nope, you are right.

Let me add some infos.

You have other GNU GPL licences, for instance:

    - GNU *lesser* GPL: allows a "closed
      source" component to be linked to the component
      protected by the license. Perfect for
      middleware for instance. That's why most the libs
      are protected with a *lesser* version of the GNU GPL.

    - GNU *affero* GPL: this extends the GNU GPL to software
      components providing services over the network. For
      instance, the source code of a HTTP server protected with this
      licence would have to be provided to users. (this license is
      extremly rare, I have never seen it, except on some of my
      components ;) ).

    - *linux* GNU GPLv2. The linux GNU GPLv2 is a modified
      version of a plain GNU GPLv2: closed source userland
      programs are allowed till they are "normal". Basically,
      a device driver, even in userland is covered by the GNU
      GPLv2. Closed source device drivers are tolerated in the
      linux kernel (for various reasons), but in no way are

    - GNU GPLv3: it's very hard to cheat it, because written by
      legalists. v2->v3 Highlights: Adds protection against those
      who open some code, but put "software patents" on that very code.
      Adds protection against those who open the code, but make it
      unmodifiable by users by a technical mean (tivo-ization, I may be
      wrong, but it one of the main things Linus T. does not like with v3).


Received on Thu Jun 26 2014 - 01:22:53 CEST

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