Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> Let's assume that I have obtained my copy of several components under
> any license but the GPL, and so have a lot of other people.
Still missing the point. Don't assuming you have a license that says
I don't have to assume. I have other licenses. Only the GPL applies
its restrictions to the 'work as a whole' instead of just itself. You
are the one assuming that there might be something even more restrictive
than the GPL and using that to excuse its harmful restrictions.
The way to tell whether the GPL prohibits you from doing anything is
comparing what you can do once you accept the GPL with what you could
do before you accepted it.
> With any other license, I could at least have done a diff against
> the original copies and my work and given that away
As long as your original work is not a derived work. If it is, you
still need permission from the copyright holders of the original work,
to both create your derived work and to distribute the
No one but the FSF claims that a patch is a derived work - or a separate
component that links 2 others together but doesn't contain a copy of the
> This doesn't happen with any license but the GPL.
Sorry, I don't know how you came to this conclusion, but it's
Try to create a derived work based on say Microsoft Windows or
Microsoft Word, if you happen to have them around, and to distribute
it, and see what happens.
I'm not sure what you are talking about. It's a pretty safe bet that
there is more code that relies on Microsoft libraries than anything else
and Microsoft does not try to stop people from distributing it. If
anything, they encourage it by making a lot of tools and libraries
>> This would be a prohibition of the GPL.
> Yes, in case it wasn't clear before, the specific prohibition that I
> consider unethical is that it takes away my choice to share my own
It doesn't. Your own original work can't possibly be a derived work.
Difference of opinion, I guess. The FSF says otherwise and that if the
resulting 'work as a whole' would be be a derived work, then the
components, including my own work, can't be distributed unless all are
restricted by the GPL.
It does not grant you permission to distribute joint works you
by deriving works from others' works in certain ways, so the
prohibition from copyright law remains in place. See, you didn't have
that choice in the first place for the GPL to take away. That's the
fundamental point that you're missing.
I'm not missing anything. I have my copy of a library, you have your
copy. Without the GPL, I can give you a copy of my original work that
links to that library without imposing the GPL restrictions on it and
any other related components. With the GPL, I can't. And the same
applies even if we both have source and I have made a patch.