[kwlug-disc] Wordpress themes must be GPL

R. Brent Clements rbclemen at gmail.com
Thu Jul 29 12:00:30 EDT 2010


I have asked this question before, and I am not sure I have ever heard a
definitive answer, but this is what I don't understand about GPL software
distribution.

If I create code "derived" from existing GPL'd code I need to licence it
GPL.  Which makes sense.  If I choose to sell the code, for say $100, I have
the right.  And under the GPL when I distribute the software I am required
to grant access to the source code for my code and the pre-existing code.

The question is this.  If I sell 10 copies of the software, am I not only
required to provide access to the source code to those 10 customers.  If
some guy sends me an email stating that he/she wants the source under the
terms of the GPL, what obligation do I have to give it to them?  I know that
one of the 10 people I sold it to now have the right to do that, but I am
not required to identify them, am I?

Brent


On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 9:25 AM, Ralph Janke <txwikinger at ubuntu.com> wrote:

>  On 07/28/2010 10:44 AM, Raul Suarez wrote:
>
>   I'm sure we've all heard the difference between "the letter of the law"
> and "the spirit of the law"
>
>
>  > [GPL has been ]untested in a court of law.
>
> If and when the GPL gets tested in court then "the letter of the law" will
> be tested.
>
>
>
> Well, there is a need to clarify. The GPL has been tested in court in
> regard of being a valid license in generality. It is not possible to claim
> the GPL in itself is unlawful and she be automatically void (as i.e tried to
> SCO claim).
>
>
>    > ... the FSF interpretation is, in some cases, ideologically driven,
> and overly broad in certain cases.
>
>
>  Until that court test happens, then the FSF interpretation embodies "the
> spirit of the law" as it was them that created the GPL.
>
>
> The FSF's interpretation is like any other interpretation. The only thing
> the can additionally contribute is their intention since they have created
> it. However, they have no more authority in regard of interpreting the
> interrelationship between the GPL and statutory/common law as any other
> person trained in law.
>
> Just look at Apple's interpretation of their license making it illegal to
> "jailbreak" their devices. The Library of Congress has clearly stated this
> not to be illegal (at least under copyright legislation, in particular the
> DCMA and its DRM provisions).
>
> - Ralph
>
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