From: John N S Gill (jng at domain renre-europe.com)
Date: Wed 17 May 2000 - 12:51:44 IST
> That's pretty much the case alright; most mods to GPL'd code you might
> make, are at a much lower level than the core business logic, e.g. porting
> compiler/command-line-tool code, fixing bugs, etc.
> As Kate said, it makes pure sense to provide your modifications back,
> otherwise you will run into a world of pain when version 2.0 comes out and
> you have to re-patch your mods into the code, because you didn't take the
> time to provide them to the community.
Yes, i'm in the process of pointing all this out. The situation is
that a document has been thrown together with this nonesense in it
without anyone really thinking about the consequences.
> Also, if the software's license is GPL or similar, you have no choice ;)
I'm no lawyer, but never been sure whether the GPL is quite that
strong or not. As I understand it you must make any modifications
that you "distribute or publish" freely available.
Question is, does putting a modified version of some GPL code onto a
few machines in a private company count constitute "distributing or
> If you *do* run into a situation whereby modifications to GPL software
> being passed back is an issue with your bosses or HR dept -- then that's a
> problem, and the legalese needs to be worked around at a higher level, ie.
> with your boss' help.
> This should be do-able, as I really doubt that any sane company would let
> an obscure paragraph in the standard HR hiring agreement stand in the way
> of a sane development path -- and if the company *does* act like that,
> you'd probably have much bigger problems with their bureaucratic
> tendencies then ;)
Agree wholeheartedly. The good news is that the company is
generally fairly enlightened about things and I do have my bosses
support on this.
Thanks for all your comments, all very useful.
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