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

David Mertz, Ph.D. mertz at gnosis.cx
Wed Oct 9 03:16:41 CEST 2002


anton at vredegoor.doge.nl (Anton Vredegoor) wrote previously:
|Since my program is public domain I have no problem with someone
|relicensing (parts of) it as GPL, but then the problem for me would be
|that I could not use the GPL'd derivates myself, because I want my
|code in the public domain.

That's the thing about releasing code to the public domain:  You give up
control of what other folks do with it.  They might do something fairly
benign like release it as GPL.  Or the might do something rather evil
like release it with MS EULAs.

In either case, you don't have any rights to use the derived works in
public domain projects.  But then, it's not clear why you think you
*should* be able to use someone else's code in a public domain project.
If they want to put their stuff in public domain, you are welcome to use
it so, but you've explicitly given up any leverage to require them to do
so.

If you want to put openness requirements on the creators of derived
works, that's pretty much exactly what the GPL is for.  Maybe you should
use GPL yourself, since it seems to meet your goals.

I write this comment as someone who, in fact, puts his own code in the
public domain.  In fact, I have some projects that a fair number of
other folks have contributed to that remain this way.  I just let them
know that if they want to contribute, they should release the code to
public domain... otherwise I'm not interested in using their code (I
might still use their *idea* though).  If someone wants to fork my
projects into GPL derivative works, it's no skin off my nose.  I don't
use that code for my stuff... but there's no reason I should be allowed
to do so (it's their fork, they can do what they want).

Yours, David...

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