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Combustible
n00b
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Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2004 12:57 am    Post subject: GPL-ish question Reply with quote

So I read that DVD thing that /. ran a few days ago and it set me thinking about the whole watching dvds is illegal under linux thing...

Assuming that a company like Cyberlink (i think thats what they go by) would open the code for PowerDVD, would they be allowed to GPL it for use only on Linux boxes with the condition that they still own the codebase?

I mean, they would roll all improvements made into a Windows build and sell it, while the Linux build would be kind of a Development effort?

Ive never ported from one OS to the other, so I dont know if thats even technically possible... But according to the GPL is it legal?
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ewan.paton
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Joined: 29 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the gpl states you cant descriminate so if they gpl the code it cant be linux only, as to how hard it would be to port, well it would depend upon the code but in many countries the encription breaking stuff has been rulled legal.

imagine if you bought a car and were told you could only drive certain places, thats what the record/movie cartels tried to do, even if its ilegal dont let it bother you as its not a real law{1} and nobody will kick your dor down for watching a legal dvd on your pc


{1} i obay laws which have a basis in justice not just because some politican or judge says so, they are our servants not the other way around
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ecatmur
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Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Posts: 3595
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not really possible to keep that level of control over source code with the GPL.

For one thing, anyone with GPL-licensed code is free to alter it in any way including porting it to Windows.

For another, they would not be able to use community-provided enhancements in a proprietary Windows product, given that such enhancements would be licensed to them under the GPL; the copyright holders of the enhancements would then be able to demand that the full source code for the enhanced Windows version be given to them under the GPL, as a derivative work of the contributed code.

However, they could use a non-Free open source license, for instance one that permitted distribution without modification, or that required that all modifications be licensed without restriction to them. There are IIRC some open source packages with similar licenses in Portage.
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