[opensource-dev] Can you legally agree to incomprehensible conditions

Carlo Wood carlo at alinoe.com
Sat Apr 3 05:30:29 PDT 2010

Ok, IANAL as well, but here's what I understood (somewhere in the past):

LL is a single legal entity, "distributing" sources internally is
not considered to be distribution and using binaries on multiple
PC's within the company is also not considered distribution (it
doesn't change owner).

Therefore, they can link GPL-ed code with non-GPL-ed code (ie the server).
The result would not be something that they can legally distribute, but
that is not being done when they keep it strictly internal.

If however they would sell (or even give) the server binary to another
company, that is something entirely different. In that case they may
not link with any GPL code, not even GPL shared libraries unless that
binary is GPL-ed, meaning that the receiving company also needs to get
source code, fully GPL-ed, which gives that company the right to
distribute it on the internet as well. If LL wouldd sell that binary and
give the source code but created an NDA for it; then they'd break
the law and could be sued by the copyright holder of the GPL-ed part
of their server (mostly like the FSF).

On Sat, Apr 03, 2010 at 09:53:39AM +0200, Anders Arnholm wrote:
> Sending in that fax and giveing the LL copyright for tha patches. We all 
> knew that LL had an internal code base mixed with the server code 
> containing non-gpl:ed code.

Carlo Wood <carlo at alinoe.com>

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