Freedoms granted by the GPL (was: [linux-elitists] The GPLV3 Position... (and a suggestion to Jon Corbet))

Ben Finney
Mon Sep 25 21:18:51 PDT 2006

On 25-Sep-2006, Greg KH wrote:
> The GPL is not about the user, it's about the developer.

My understanding is that the GPL is about the licensed work, and about
actions covered by copyright. Whether one is "user" or "developer" is

> If you use my code and modify it, you are forced to give me those
> changes back.

Not under the GPL. The only time anyone is "forced" by the GPL to give
changes is when one distributes a changed version of the work, and
even then only the recipient of the changed version can demand the
source code. The original developer of the GPLed work has no special
claim to receive anything from the distributor.

The GPL isn't a contract between parties; it's a unilateral grant of
license. The licensor grants certain freedoms under certain
conditions, but none of those involve maintaining any relationship
with the licensor.

 \       "Firmness in decision is often merely a form of stupidity. It |
  `\    indicates an inability to think the same thing out twice."  -- |
_o__)                                                 Henry L. Mencken |
Ben Finney <>
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