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   Sorry for all the negatives rules ... but we've been bitten once!

it sounds as though the program was once distributed under GPL, but they
ran into trouble, so they added restrictions to the license.  Hence the
apology for "all the negative rules."

As for "license.txt" and "-A", it's apparently a remnant of the old code
that hasn't been updated.  They should update it.  Naughty of them to
keep the old stuff lying around.  But the above quote from their docs
seems to be aware of the GPL while "license.txt" and "-A" aren't
seem to be aware of the "negative rules", so the docs seems to be newer,
which would mean it supercedes the GPL.  I'd think the court would see it
that way too, though it's probably never get that far.

> but in addition, saying "this software is licensed under the GPL except
> you can't redistribute modifications to the code" is like ... well, i
> don't have words for it.  clueless?  missing the whole point?

I've seen programs that say "this software is in public domain except ..."
which pretty much defeats the definition of "public domain".  But as long
as the intention of the words are clear, I'm pretty sure the court will
uphold it.

I've also seen programs that say "This program is distributed under GPL
license with the exception that..." which the author is perfectly allowed
to do -- as you say, the GPL document is also GPL (actually, I don't know
that but I take your word for it) and it may be modified and redistributed
by anyone.

> IANAL, but i'm pretty sure you're wrong.  the GNU GPL text itself is
> under the GPL.  they used it in their software package.  that should
> make the software package GPL as well.

> but even if you don't like this argument, they used LGPL code in their
> software (you must have not read this part).  read what i had to say
> about LGPL in the original post; i think in this circumstance, they're
> in violation of the LGPL, even if not in violation of the GPL.

You said they *use* LGPL code, which doesn't consititute an LGPL
violation.  If they statically link to the LGPL code, then that has some
consequences.  From the implication... I guess they link statically?

My understanding is LGPL pretty much says you gotta be allowed to change
the LGPL code in the final binary, which you can because you got the
sourcecode.  But AFAIK restrictions on further distribution or
commercial/public usage, etc., doesn't violate LGPL as long as you can
recompile the program after modifying the LGPL code.

> but even if you aren't wrong, you should be wrong.  ;)

Yeah, I should be wrong.  I could be.  After all, IANAL.  IANAL.  I just
like that word so much.  IANAL.

> it's the other way around.  version 4 is GPL.  it's uncertain what the
> license on version 3 is.  but that was part of the confusion -- they had
> 2 different licenses.  GPL and their non-free-as-in-speech GPL.

What I meant is versions 1 and 2 seems to have been GPL, and version 3
changed to modified GPL.  You could modify version 4 since it's a full
GPL, but too bad it's a Java-only version.


Mark K. Kim
PGP key available upon request.

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