[Bf-committers] extension clause

Benjamin Tolputt btolputt at internode.on.net
Sun Nov 21 15:10:56 CET 2010

On 20/11/2010 2:27 AM, Jason van Gumster wrote:
> Furthermore, I'm not sure how the 'sharing with 3rd party contractors
> constitutes distribution' argument holds any water. Are you saying that these
> companies - many of which are used to treating source code as trade secret -
> are going to have trouble keeping code private and secret simply because it's
> linked to GPL code? I'm sorry, but that doesn't even begin to make sense to me.

Actually, it holds water just fine. Legally it is distribution as it is
being given to someone not involved in the creation of the extended
copyright material. Unlike trade secret source code, said distribution
is now no longer protected by "basic" copyright law as there is a
license covering the material.

Remember, the GPL explicitly prohibits adding restrictions to the source
code distribution. So contracts cannot require that the GPL extended
code be kept inhouse and sue for it in the case said clause is broken.
Well, *sue & win*, given one can sue for any reason really. A pay
dispute, a network hack, an intern wanting to get some cred online are
all reasons the code could be leaked and, due to the GPL, there isn't a
legal means of restitution.

Sorry, but it makes perfect sense. And this from someone who paid to get
some GPL code done recently in Blender (just wasn't worried about it
being available for all).


Benjamin Tolputt
Analyst Programmer

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