Is Mandriva (was Mandrakesoft) violating GPL?
Eduardo Pereira Habkost
ehabkost at raisama.net
Tue Apr 19 15:29:04 CEST 2005
On Mon, Apr 18, 2005 at 09:30:57PM +0000, Matthew Seth Flaschen wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 17, 2005 at 03:07:16PM -0400, Matthew Seth Flaschen wrote:
> > You are still allowed to distribute the free software part of the
> > Commercial distribution. They shouldn't deceive you about that.
> > Furthermore, if the software they don't want you to distribute is
> > impossible or close to it to extract, then it is a derivative work of
> > the GNU/Linux package.Therefore, it needs to be GPLed as well.
> >>I guess it is very easy to extract: they even did it for us: they have
> >>made a version that already has these proprietary software removed,
> >>and it is called "download version". ;)
> I would guess, but I could be wrong, that the Commercial distribution has additional GPLed features as well as proprietary software.
You and Andre are right: there are no guarantee that (download_version =
commercial - non_free_parts).
> >>Anyway, I think this view of a Linux distribution as possibly being a
> >>"derivative work" of the GPL software is interesting. I would like to
> >>hear the opinion of a lawyer about this.
> I was only saying that was true if they are deeply in connected, which I doubt.
That is why I used the word "possibly" above: the possibility of seeing
a distribution including non-GPL software as having these non-GPL parts
"deeply in connected" can have some interesting (not necessarily good)
> >>But I personally wouldn't like any court to see a Linux distribution as
> >>a derivative work of GPL software. Otherwise the people that says that
> >>"GPL is viral because you cannot distribute proprietary software together
> >>with GPL software" would be (at least on some cases) right.
> That's not true. If your proprietary software is a derivative work
> of the GPLed code, you can't distribute it at ALL. Otherwise, you can
> distribute it in any place you want. If I create a program that uses
> code from Microsoft Windows, it doesn't matter how I'm distributing it.
> It's stil a copyvio. Same for GPLed software. Except with GPLed software
> it wouldn't be a copyvio if you provided source under the GPL, because
> that use is licensed.
I didn't understand what you meant: what is not true, exactly?
I am not saying that the claims from these people are true, but they would
be right in a specific case if someone gets in trouble after making a
Linux distribution including non-GPL software and some court seeing it as
"deeply included and hard to extract" (a very subjective judgement) and as
a derivative work of GPL software. It would increase the "GPL is viral"
FUD. I am not saying that the "GPL is viral" claims are true, I am just
saying that I wouldn't like to see a whole Linux distributing being judged
as "derivative work from GPL software" (even if they are distribution
the source for all GPL parts of it) because it would increase the FUD.
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