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- Subject: Re: gpl issue
- From: David Kastrup <dak@...>
- Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 19:14:17 +0200
Joshua Phillips <email@example.com> writes:
> On 08/09/10 15:32, Martin Voigt wrote:
>> IANAL, but does "compatible with the GPL" in the MIT license [used by
>> Lua] imply that one is able to distribute modified versions of Lua
>> under the GPL2 or higher? I read both licenses (which is an exercise
>> regarding the GPL), but I'm still not sure. Does anyone know? Thanks
>> in advance.
> You can distribute MIT-licensed or 2-clause BSD-licensed code with a
> GPL project as long as you comply with the licence (keep the
> disclaimer and list of conditions, etc.), but I'd assume the GPL
> cannot apply to the MIT/BSD-licensed parts because it'd be
> self-contradictory (the MIT or BSD licence would pretty much say you
> can do what you like with the code while the GPL would say otherwise).
> But IANAL either.
A license does not cover pieces of texts, but the transfer of a tangible
copy. The conditions of the MIT license can be met when you transfer a
copy under the GPL, even an unmodified copy, as long as you heed the
conditions of the MIT license.
If the recipient rips out and reuses the parts originally licensed under
the MIT license without using any of your own GPLed code in the process,
there is not anything you can do against that since the basis for suing
for licensing violation is that you have licensed material copyrighted
by yourself. The only one who could theoretically sue is the original
author, because he authorized you to relicense, and your relicensing has
I'd not be overoptimistic on chances for success even if you managed to
get the original copyright holder (or a copyright troll subsequently
acquiring his copyright) to sue.
Things are different if the combined whole gets redistributed since then
the license (GPL) on the parts you wrote is violated (it demands
licensing the thing as a whole under the GPL). However, you have to
show that the MIT licensed part is necessarily to be considered part of
the whole rather than independent.
Again, if it's unmodified, I'd not wager my life on success in court.
But it is not inconceivable either.