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

Chris Gonnerman chris.gonnerman at newcenturycomputers.net
Tue Oct 8 15:03:22 CEST 2002

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anton Vredegoor" <anton at vredegoor.doge.nl>

> Hello All,
> how can I use a class or a function from a GLP'd module 
> (cut-and-paste style) in a module with BSD or public 
> domain style release?

Basically, you can't.  If you cut-and-paste it, you drag the
original author's license along with it, whatever that 
license is.

> 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. 

People who use the GPL usually aren't real willing to agree
to such plans.  The GPL is a political statement, after all.

(Note to flamers:  I use the GPL sometimes, but not often.)

> So that's not an option for me. I would rather rethink the 
> problem and start writing a new script.
> But here's where the problem begins. Having seen the 
> algorithm it's almost impossible for me to forget it 
> and write code as if I had never seen it. 


> On the other hand, is it enough to just cut and paste, 
> change maybe a few variable names, credit the author for 
> the original concept in the sourcode, send some email to 
> inform the author and go on with life?


If the algorithm being used is common knowledge, you can
implement it yourself without worry about the other author's
license, since he or she probably used the same common 

If it ISN'T common knowledge/standard practice/etc. you have
a problem.

What sort of algorithm are we talking about here?  How long
is it?

> I know a lot of people rely on writing sourcecode for a 
> living but I have been unemployed as a programmer for so 
> long know that the concept of owning sourcecode or getting 
> payed for producing it is completely alien to me. I think 
> I'll be writing free sourcecode till I die just hoping 
> some pieces of my code will survive into eternity.  If 
> someone has a problem with that, hire me.

Cool.  Welcome to the club!

Chris Gonnerman -- chris.gonnerman at newcenturycomputers.net

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