[PLUG] some clarifications on GPL

Nishit Dave stargazer.dave at gmail.com
Tue Jan 9 23:22:35 IST 2007

On 1/9/07, Atul Nene <atul.nene at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Sridhar for clarifying further. When I said 'give back to
> owner', I meant 'give back to community' since, my understanding is
> that GPLed software ceases to belong a person and starts belonging to
> the community.

The GPL (and other licenses, actually) deal with copyright, and not
ownership.  If you create a work of authorship and license it to someone for
use in any way, you are transferring copyright, not authorship.  Under the
GPL (v2), you transfer the copyright in the broadest sense with only one
limitation that further distribution of the original work or its derivative
should involve the same transfer of copyright to all recipients without

There may or may not be a community involved in your distributing GPL'd
software, e.g. you have given it to your girlfriend's brother.  What he may
or may not do with the software / code is his own decision / problem, and
you as the author need not be concerned unless the work or its derivative is
redistributed, but then again it depends on how serious you are with your

Another thing to be noted in relation to the GPL is that you, as the author,
are completely Free to parallely distribute your work of authorship under a
different license, say the BSD license or the Apache license or the
Microsoft EULA (modified of course), but again that's a question of
business, ethics, and politics.  Caveat, if modifications of your work find
their work back to you under the GPL, you cannot co-mingle them in your
distribution that is under a non-GPL compliant license.

Yes, it is a zoo out there.

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