GPL does not tie your hands necessarily - Re: Rchard Stallman vs Darl McBride

Michael Torrie torriem at
Wed Jul 21 07:38:14 MDT 2010

On 07/20/2010 10:21 PM, Levi Pearson wrote:
>> If your wrote *all* the code yourself, you absolutely can release only
>> part of it under the GPL.
> Yes, but that negates the power of using open source building blocks.
> I assumed some other copyright holders in the mix, either from the
> beginning or from accepting contributions under the GPL without
> copyright reassignment.

Well incompatible licenses should be a concern no matter what license
you are working with.  I don't think a GPL library author owes you as a
developer anything.  So use something that's compatible with your
license.  If no one can use a library because it's GPL, then it will die
and be replaced with something else.  I don't see your concern as a
genuine problem.  If you're working on a proprietary, commercial
project, for example, then you should have already taken this into

Also, many GPL'd projects (even ones with multiple copyright holders)
are licensed under several different licenese.

> Yes, but that's GPL-with-exceptions, not vanilla GPL.  Structuring
> things correctly and coming up with the necessary exceptions and all
> that seem needlessly complicated to me.

Well, as I said, writing a special exception to the GPL is not strictly
necessary for the copyright holder(s).  But a GPL-with-exceptions
license can become a vanilla GPL license for the derivative author.  Any
exception to the GPL need not live past the first generation if you as
the developer choose that to be so.

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