generic query regarding GPL and licensing terms associated with gdb

Robert Dewar dewar@adacore.com
Tue Aug 24 21:33:00 GMT 2010


Steffen Dettmer wrote:

> As I understood, one of the most essential key points of GPL is
> exactly that it is not possible to licence code under terms of
> GPL and redistribute any derived work without offering this
> derived work also under the terms of the GPL.
> So I think "take GPL code, modify it [...] and then distribute it
> without giving a GPL license" simply is not allowed at all.

True, if by "not allowed at all" you mean "is a potential
copyright infringement", I say potential here, because there
are many exceptions that may exempt a specific case from
being infringing.

But my point was that if you do this (and are thus in a
position of potential copyright infringement), this act
does not cause you to lose rights to your trade secrets
or copyrighted code that may have been distributed at the
same time.

If you are judged to have infringed, then you must cure
the copyright infringement in the future. In the case of
the GPL, one way you could do this *at your option* is
to release all your code under the GPL, but you are never
forced to do this.
> 
> Could someone please clarify?
> 
> oki,
> 
> Steffen



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