Public Debate: The GPL and Split Licensing

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lobos
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Public Debate: The GPL and Split Licensing

Post by lobos » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:48 pm

Certain companies believe that they can split license GPL Extensions derived from Joomla and restrict distribution based on proprietary licensed Javascript / CSS contained in the distribution (extension). I believe this is a false belief due to the following:

GNU General Public License, version 2

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION
1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program.
Let us focus on this part of Section 2:
"...These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it...."
Let us think of "whole" as "the extension" and "sections" as Javascript/CSS with the Program being Joomla. Now apply this to the text:
"...These requirements apply to the modified work as a extension. If identifiable javascript/css of that work are not derived from Joomla, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to javascript/css when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same javascript/css as part of an extension which is a work based on Joomla, the distribution of the Extension must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire Extension, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it...."
Agree? Disagree? I would like to hear your views, thanks!
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