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Thread: GPL to proprietary

  1. #1
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    GPL to proprietary

    If I release a project under GPL3, do I still have the right to use a future version in a proprietary project? It is my code, so I would think I have the right to give new direction to my own creation, but at the same time, someone could argue that this later version is a violation of the GPL on the prior versions (since the proprietary version uses GPL code, technically).

  2. #2
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzzSaw View Post
    It is my code, so I would think I have the right to give new direction to my own creation,
    Aye. It's your code, so the GPL (or any other license) doesn't apply to you.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  3. #3
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Nope you can't change it. Once it's GPL'ed it *stays* GPL'ed.

    This is a situation in which you'd want to use an MIT-style license. The work you've done up until the change must remain FOSS, but any new developments of the old code can be under another license.

  4. #4
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Wow, right off the bat, I get contradicting answers. LOL!

    On one hand, I have heard of external organizations (such as EFF) enforcing the GPL. On the other hand, it was my understanding that it was the copyright holder's job to prosecute (thus exempting myself from using my own GPL code in a proprietary product).

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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzzSaw View Post
    Wow, right off the bat, I get contradicting answers. LOL!
    Ha ha yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm right, but Bachstelze is quite experienced, so hopefully someone can clear this up.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzzSaw View Post
    On one hand, I have heard of external organizations (such as EFF) enforcing the GPL. On the other hand, it was my understanding that it was the copyright holder's job to prosecute (thus exempting myself from using my own GPL code in a proprietary product).
    It's a question of sticking to the letter of the law vs. what you can practically do. If you switch the license of a project nobody hardly uses, nobody will hardly care .

  6. #6
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    If your're the copyright holder of the code, you can change the licensing terms for new releases. Old releases must still be GPL.

  7. #7
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Quote Originally Posted by napsy View Post
    If your're the copyright holder of the code, you can change the licensing terms for new releases. Old releases must still be GPL.
    Yeah, this was my understanding. As far as I know, I cannot suddenly withdraw the older releases (and I have no problem leaving those available), but I should be free to use my own code in a proprietary project elsewhere.

    I'd appreciate any further clarification on the subject. Given the confusion in this thread, it doesn't seem so clear cut. I could see myself running into issues if the code I used included other people's contributions, but as long as I use only my portions, I should be OK, right?
    Last edited by TheBuzzSaw; November 22nd, 2009 at 05:04 PM.

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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Quote Originally Posted by napsy View Post
    If your're the copyright holder of the code, you can change the licensing terms for new releases. Old releases must still be GPL.
    This. If you released an older version under the GPL, someone who dowloads it reads "this code is under GPL", that grants him the rights tu use it ain accordance to the GPL, and there's nothing you can do about it.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  9. #9
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    If somebody else contributes to your project after you open it, then I don't think you can change licences(unless that person agrees).

  10. #10
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    Re: GPL to proprietary

    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer_999 View Post
    If somebody else contributes to your project after you open it, then I don't think you can change licences(unless that person agrees).
    Depends on how you do things, some projects have people transfer copyright assignment, though usually for more noble reasons. If you don't do that, you could just maintain separate versions or remove the offending code.

    My understanding of this is you just can't retroactively change licenses but as the owner you can give it a .1 version bump and use whichever licensing scheme you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pimientito
    NEVER EVER give a gypsy player an unprotected guitar to play. It will end in tears!

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