Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Is the GPL a binding legal contract?
September 17, 2001 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Is the GPL a binding legal contract? If so, who would be able to (and could afford to) bring necessary legal action against groups who choose to ignore the terms?
posted by milnak (2 comments total)

 
It most certainly is. (although, to be fair, IANAL, and i'm not sure if it has been contested in court)

Anyone who writes software has the right (in theory) to distribute it under _any_ terms they choose. ("You must supply me w/ three golden chimpanzees!")

The GPL doesn't prohibit selling of the software. It simply says that if you distribute a program that uses GPL code, then you must make the source code for that program available with your distribution.
You can still sell your software, but you must also include the source along w/ it.

If you don't want to use the GPL, no one's forcing you to incorporate GPL'd code in your software. Just reimplement what you need if you don't like it.

And what's w/ that fucking microsoft quote at the bottom?!
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:42 PM on September 17, 2001


It is probably as binding as any software license, which is why nobody has gone after it -- if it doesn't stand up, it could put all software licenses in jeopardy. The industry doesn't want that.
posted by kindall at 6:48 PM on September 17, 2001


« Older Admiral Yamamoto never said...  |  Filling the Void... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments