inquery about "GPL with commercial exception"

Francesco Poli invernomuto at
Wed Oct 7 21:50:53 UTC 2015

On Wed, 30 Sep 2015 09:45:26 +0200 IOhannes m zmölnig (Debian/GNU)

> On 2015-09-30 02:18, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Yes, that is clearly what the GPL calls an “additional restriction”
> > on the recipient's exercise of their freedoms guaranteed by the
> > GPL.
> > 
> > GPLv2 §6:
> > 
> > Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the 
> > Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the 
> > original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program
> > subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any
> > further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights
> > granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by
> > third parties to this License.
> hmm, frankly i don't see how this is very relevant here.
> the original licensor (the linuxsampler devs) grants a license to all
> recipients. this license includes the "restriction".
> the "YOU" in the license only refers to the recipients who would like
> to pass on the software to other recipients. they may not add any
> "additional" restriction to the license as given by the original licenso
> r.
> so if "we" (Debian) don't add further restrictions, that should be fine.

I personally think it is indeed relevant.

Let me try to explain.
The term "further restrictions" is meant "with respect to the
GPL terms", not "with respect to GPL terms + any terms added by the
copyright holder".
Hence releasing software under "GPL + further restrictions" creates a
self-contradictory license, where anyone willing to redistribute has to
comply with the following conditions:

 • redistribute under the GPL terms
 • do not impose any further restriction (with respect to the GPL)
 • do not drop the restrictions which are already present (copyright
   laws do not allow distributors to drop restrictions)

One cannot comply with all these conditions at the same time.
The "GPL + further restrictions" license is therefore

Please also see this old reply by RMS:

I hope this clarifies.

 There's not a second to spare! To the laboratory!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE
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