[Bf-committers] extension clause

Alex Combas blenderwell at gmail.com
Thu Nov 18 08:15:14 CET 2010

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:10 PM, Martin Poirier <theeth at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- On Wed, 11/17/10, David Jeske <davidj at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've heard a few people mention this loophole related to
> > the definition of
> > 'distribution', where if a binary is distributed only
> > within an
> > organization, then that's not really 'distribution' and so
> > the closed-source
> > code does not need to be moved to the GPL and released in
> > source form. I've
> > explained why this loophole is not practically useful, both
> > because it's not
> > universally accepted, and because companies must often
> > distribute the
> > binaries outside their organization to get work done.
> Not only is it widely accepted, it's straight out of the GPL FAQ:
> ---
> This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization
> can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it
> outside the organization.
> ---
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic

I think you are confusing "widely accepted" with "widely offered".

Everyone knows that the this is a common claim of the GPL that you can "make
a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it".

The real question is: How do companies feel about this, and, How often does
this actually happen.

You might also say that the GPL often says "Yes you can sell GPL software",
yet how many GPL projects are activelly sold and actively make profits from
their sales? Virtually none, unless they tie it to hardware as in the case
of Android and Linux.

Similarly, virtually zero companies actually go the route of making a
modified internal version of GPL software.

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