Subject: Re: help! absolute beginner
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/12/21
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* brad@speedy.knotwell.dom (Brad Knotwell)
| 2)  This seems (to me at least) to be an inherent requirement for free
|     software.  The requirement is driven by the need to release the
|     source code without limitation.  However, it's not a requirement
|     unique only to free software.  As an example, it's also a requirement
|     for any commercial developer wanting the freedom to do whatever they
|     want with their application.  In the case of a commercial company, it
|     may be that they don't wish to pay a run-time license fees for an
|     implementation of a "hot" methodology (the new Windows client
|     protocol ICA? comes to mind).
| 3)  Perhaps you could elaborate on this further, I don't really
|     understand what you mean.

  I think I would have to answer pretty much what you answered in 2) above.
  free software isn't, and you have to treat it like any other licensed
  software to remain at liberty to do whatever you want yourself.

| 4)  Perhaps my reading of the GPL is incorrect, but the GPL doesn't
|     require you make your source code available to everyone.

  this is correct.  I don't have to make it available to anyone.

|     In my reading (IANAL), the last 9 words are key for the custom
|     developer.  I read this as saying that you only need to give source
|     and liberal licensing terms to the third parties to whom you
|     distributed the code.

  this is correct.

|     Thus, it appears you could write custom software modifying GPL'd
|     software and give it to the client.  It would then be up to _them_
|     and _you_ how  it's distributed.

  this is incorrect.  it is no longer up to the author of GPL'ed code how
  it is distributed once it leaves the author's domain.  that is the key.

|     If it needs to be kept secret, it will only be used within the
|     company.  Assumption: the company would enjoin employees from
|     releasing code to the outside world.

  it is not quite resolved whether this is possible under the GPL.

| Furthermore, I believe that most commercial developers could easily work
| effectively and profitably work within the the BSD and artistic licenses.

  I would agree with that.

  I have asked my lawyer to architect a license agreement that I can use on
  source code that I plan to release without giving people the opportunity
  to distribute changes to it or make money off of it without my explicit
  cooperation.  I also want to know who is redistributing it so I can make
  sure that changes propagate properly.  (I'm sure he'll be happy about the
  extra income, but it may turn out to cost too much to give something away
  under reasonable terms.)

  Nie wieder KrF!  Nie wieder KrF!  Nie wieder KrF!  Nie wieder KrF!