[Chicago] to lawer or not Was: something unrelated

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Tue Jan 6 05:06:43 CET 2009

(I'm trying to cut down my responses, as it's probably about time for 
the thread to wind down ;)

Carl Karsten wrote:
>> Is it criminal to give legal advice? 
> Yes.
> "He was arrested Tuesday on four counts of grand theft, one count of 
> theft from an elder and one count of unauthorized practice of law." 
> http://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_11265472

He fraudulently claimed to be a lawyer and took money for it.  Totally 
different ;)

>> I'm worried some people have a 
>> knee-jerk reaction about the GPL that is based on unrealistic claims 
>> of its "viral" nature.
> Yeah, I have wondered about that - I hear "GPL infected" now and then.

When you distribute software with the GPL, you have to give the people 
who receive the software the right to continue to redistribute it.  You 
don't have to GPL license your work, though you do need to use something 
"GPL-compatible" (like BSD or MIT licenses).  You only are giving that 
software with that license to the person who receives the code.  You 
don't have to exclusively license the code under that license, and you 
don't lose copyright.  Meaning you can turn around and make *your* code 
proprietary at any time, you just can't distribute it in that form until 
you've removed the GPL'd code.

When there is a GPL violation the response has always been to ask the 
person distributing the code to make a choice: release their code under 
a GPL-compatible license, or remove the GPL code.  There have been some 
times when the people receiving the code have asked for more (as with 
Tivo, I think?) but it hasn't really gone anywhere, and only the paying 
recipients of the code have even tried to assert that.

Ian Bicking : ianb at colorstudy.com : http://blog.ianbicking.org

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