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SubjectRe: ReiserFS and GPL...
>"may not be integrated with non-GPL software" appears, to me, to refer
>to software that is non-GPL *prior* to integration.

You just made that up. It's not stated in the license, and it's clearly
not in the intent of the license either.

The GPL itself may not be integrated with non-GPL software. The act of
integrating and distributing it MUST convert the other software to the
GPL (for this distribution) because the GPL covers the entire
distribution. If the GPL can't be construed to cover the entire work,
then the other license is not GPL-compatible and the GPL code can't be
integrated with it into a distributable work. Period. The other
software is still available from the original source under the original
license, but when distributed as part of a GPL work, it HAS TO BE
covered by the GPL or the right to distribute the previously GPL part is
not available.

This has been referred to as the "viral" nature of the GPL. It infects
other software it's compiled together with, at least as far as that
distribution is concerned.

"Before" is meaningless. Linux used to be under a different license.
All software is not under the GPL until the author says it is. Software
is created before the GPL is applied to it. I can arbitrarily DECLARE a
piece of softare with a GPL compatible license to be under the GPL.
That only applies to the copies I distribute, of course.

I can hold a disk up in the air and say "this is now under the GPL!"
Define "before"... You mean if it's ever distributed anywhere under a
non-GPL license? 1) Reiserfs itself is distributed under such a
license, 2) that's just not relevant to what I do or don't do in regard
to distributing or modifying the copies of the software I have in my
posession. Laws and licenses have the concept of "scope", you know...

Do we have a "Licensing issues" FAQ? "What the GPL means and what it
doesn't mean"? If not, perhaps we need one...


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