[OT} How to un-GPL parts of a GPL'd module.

Michael Stenner mstenner at phy.duke.edu
Tue Oct 8 17:40:28 CEST 2002

On Tue, Oct 08, 2002 at 05:00:06PM +0200, Anton Vredegoor wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Oct 2002 09:03:44 -0400, "Steve Holden"
> <sholden at holdenweb.com> wrote:
> >"Anton Vredegoor" <anton at vredegoor.doge.nl> wrote in message
> >news:anujeq$qdk$1 at news.hccnet.nl...
> >
> >> I guess I could e-mail the author for permission but if I would have
> >> to wait for them to answer, it would slow my coding process down to a
> >> snail's pace, and there's always the possibility of the author being
> >> unwilling.
> >>
> >Indeed. Perhaps you should consider releasing your own code under the GPL
> >rather than some other license. That way there's no problem incorporating
> >GPL'd code.
> That would solve the problem at the cost of passing on the problem to
> the next coder. It's this kind of "chain letter like" property that I
> want to adress.

But that is the fundamental point of the GPL.  You're not pointing out
some subtle side-effect burried on clause 53d here.  You're asking how
you remove the GPL-ness from the GPL.  It's a silly question.

> In case it's not clear, the chance of me finding an employer is
> remote. Contacting the original author consumes time and the outcome
> would probably not be good since I don't agree with the "pass the
> problem to the next guy" property of the GPL. 

You're not willing to GPL your code.  The GPL states that you can't
use this other guy's code UNLESS you GPL your code.  You've got two

1) Get the other guy to license it differently for you.

2) Don't use his code.

You correctly note that you've been tainted since you looked at his
code.  That leaves you in a bit of a quandry, but you got yourself
into it.  Why did you look at his code in the first place?  You knew
it was GPL'd.  You knew you weren't willing to use the GPL!  What
LEGITIMATE benefit could you gain?

> Since the dog metaphore was brought up, I would like to add the
> comparison of having a GPL dog using a specific tree for some known
> purpose and forbidding any other dog to use it for that same purpose
> ...

I don't understand this at all, but I'm guessing you're drifting into
a more philosophical discussion of the benefits/drawbacks of the GPL.
That's not relevant here at all.  You may not like the GPL, but
ultimately, the guy who wrote it gets to choose his license.  Sure it
puts restrictions on you.  I don't like Microsoft's licenses either,
because it puts restrictions on me.  But they wrote it and they can
license it any way they want.

Sorry I don't have many warm fuzzies for you, but it really seems to
me that you're simply trying to sneak around this guy's license, and
that just ain't cool.

  Michael Stenner                       Office Phone: 919-660-2513
  Duke University, Dept. of Physics       mstenner at phy.duke.edu
  Box 90305, Durham N.C. 27708-0305

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