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Anyone hear of this?

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Re: Anyone hear of this?

Postby Algernon » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:41 pm

zakalawe wrote:If the FPS guy makes improvements, he's obliged to contribute them.

Are there any obligations about giving credit where credit is due in the license? Cos he's definitely not doing that...
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Re: Anyone hear of this?

Postby Hooray » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:15 am

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-license ... CostsMoney

Algernon wrote:
zakalawe wrote:If the FPS guy makes improvements, he's obliged to contribute them.

Are there any obligations about giving credit where credit is due in the license? Cos he's definitely not doing that...


I commented on this in the other discussion, requiring this would be as simple as adding another "attribution" paragraph to the GPL.
There are many open source projects which have custom license additions to deal with this sort of stuff.

zakalawe wrote:we're GPL, everyone contributing to the code knows that, understands the license, and is comfortable with it.If the FPS guy makes improvements, he's obliged to contribute them.


Actually, "contribute" is not the right wording here: the source code of a modified GPL'ed program doesn't need to be "contributed" (i.e. back to the original project) at all.

I have in fact been involved in such projects in the past, where clients explicitly requested customizations of GPL'ed open source software, but didn't want to share those customizations with other users or the original OSS project (let alone competitors). The company I worked for back then checked this requirement thorougly (huge team of lawyers), and to my surprise, this was absolutely legitimate:

The source code only has to be made available to the people/users who have received copies of the modified program, the license doesn't implicitly say anything on contributing modifications back to the original project or the public in general:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#TOCGPLCommercially
You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.

These requirements are the condition for including the GPL-covered code you received in a program of your own.


In addition:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic
The GPL does not require you to release your modified version. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.

But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.

Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is up to you.


This basically means that you could take FlightGear, make some modifications to it, find someone to charge 1000 USD for it and never share or "contribute" the code with anybody else, except the people the software got distributed to.

On the other hand, if you want to fight the FPS guys, the GPL is "viral", i.e. any software that is GPL can consequently also be sold or given away freely:

http://encodable.com/tech/blog/2006/02/ ... l_Software
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