Subject: Re: What they can do with "their" software
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Charles M. Hannum <email@example.com>
Date: 09/11/1994 15:29:04
The GPL *does* place a burden on a third party who wants to use
that code without the GPL, because that third party must obtain
it from a place other than the collective (GPLed) work
This is another example of a misconception about the GPL.
If the person who writes the addition cares about the matter, he can
attach his own copying permissions to the addition. Then, if you
wish, you can get a copy of the combined work, delete all but the
addition, and use that under the terms its author set.
That is not true! I quote from the GPL itself:
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the
Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate
works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply
to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But
when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a
work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on
the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees
extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part
regardless of who wrote it.
That section specifically requires that the GPL's distribution terms
apply to *all* of the collective work, including the addition which
someone may want to use separately.