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    SubjectRe: Monta Vista software license terms
    David Schwartz <> said:
    > On Tue, 11 Feb 2003 08:42:26 +0100, Horst von Brand wrote:
    > >>On Mon, 10 Feb 2003 11:42:45 -0600, Oliver Xymoron wrote:

    > >>>I certainly agree, but the problem is the NDA puts the shoe on the
    > >>>other foot and now it's the customer that has to consult a lawyer
    > >>>or risk a nuisance suit before proceeding. So while it may not
    > >>>forbid, it certainly discourages and impedes. Let me point out that
    > >>>I never saw the NDA in question but said coworker was sufficiently
    > >>>intimidated by it that he was unwilling to give me a copy of the
    > >>>kernel and gcc sources because of it.

    > >> I believe such a provision would, unfortunately, by considered
    > >>legally enforceable. The rationale would be that the rights you (the
    > >>recipient of the derived work) have under the GPL would only apply if
    > >>the distributor were bound by the GPL. The only way the distributor
    > >>could be bound by the GPL was if he or she did something that he
    > >>didn't have the right to do without the GPL to give him or her such a
    > >>right.

    > >The GPL gives me the right to distribute modified versions _only if >I
    > >comply with the GPL_. And GPL forbids further restrictions when
    > >distributing.

    > I realize that. But that has nothing to do with what I said, which
    > analyzes only those rights you have without agreeing to the GPL by
    > virtue of the fact that you possess the work and were not subject to
    > any restrictions in the process of acquiring and using it.

    I just don't get it. If I get sources to foo under the GPL, I can spindle
    and mutilate them to my heart's content at home. But as soon as I do
    distribute it, the GPL is in force. There is no "not bound by the GPL
    because I'm not doing ..." and then distributing "and I wasn't bound by
    GPL, so..."

    > >If your bizarre interpretation was right, no software licence at all
    > >would have any validity. In particular, I'd be more than very surprised
    > >if the GPL was so sloppily written. It was written with the input of
    > >eminent lawyers, after all.

    > Your generalization doesn't apply because of several major
    > differences between most software licenses and the GPL:
    > 1) Most software licenses do not grant everyone the right to use the
    > work covered.


    > 2) Most software licenses do not grant anyone the right to create
    > derived works.


    > 3) Most software licenses require your assent before you can use the
    > covered work, in fact, most require your assent before you have the
    > right to possess the covered work.

    Don't see the relevance here. Besides, you never "possess" anything, you
    are just given permision to use.

    > However, one sticky point is that the GPL talks about 'modifying' a
    > work. You can create derived works without modifying the original
    > work and the GPL is unclear in this respect.

    Right. If I take gcc and make a C# compiler based on it, it is also GPL as
    far as it is derived (i.e., a substantial ammount of code was pilfered from
    gcc). No change to gcc needed, just what constitutes a derivative work.
    Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616
    Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
    Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
    Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513
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