GPL regarding consultants

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Michael Schnel » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 06:09:49




13.04.02 12:05

Quote:>That's why I have a clause in my contracts saying that code under the
>GPL is released under it, and that the customer does not automatically
>gets the rights.

Can you publish the paragraph here verbally (in German) ?

The matter seems to be of interest only in Germany anyway <g>.

BTW it seems that a very high percentage of the users of this Forum are
German. Is there any statistic ? Why is this so ? This newsgroup does not
seem to be a European thing and Germany is only a _very_ small part of the
world.....

-Michael Schnell, Krefeld, Germany,

 
 
 

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Michael Schnel » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 06:11:18



13.04.02 00:06

Quote:>if you distribute you have to have to provide source code - and you
>are forced to give this rights to your "customers" - without any
>restrictions - so everybody is allowed to distribute further - and any
>company restrictions would be against the gpl and the company would
>loose the right to use the software

That would be no problem at all. Of course the employee can give the source
code to his colleagues (it is "owned" by the company, anyway), but does GPL
not imply that he the source code should be given back to the _community_
(i.e.: be _published_) ?

Quote:>as the most working contract move the right of all created works to
>the company the worker shouldn't be responsible

Sounds reasonable.

Quote:

>the gpl has no clause "you must publish": its say (simplified):
>if YOU distribute YOU have to provide source
>so if i "distribute" to you i have to provide to source to you - but
>as i have no contract with anybody else no one besides you can insist
>on getting the source from me

Sounds reasonable. So I was wrong with my impression that the source code
should be given back to the _community_ (i.e.: be _published_).

Quote:>if the consultant delivers the software and is paid for his work (and
>his rights) the company gets all the rights its the companies property
>and they may decide what to do with the software ...
>and if THEY distribute THEY have to (and the consultant isn't allowed
>to distribute ... )

Sounds reasonable.

Quote:

>gpl speaks of a lot of distribute: i would asume the one who distributes to be
>responsible

Sounds reasonable. But I'm not sure if the the, _distribute_ is absolutely
clear (see my message to Robert). But if GPL only means that the sourcecode
always has to go with the software, it's not important if that is called
_distribute_ or else.

Quote:>just opinions - no lawer here

Sometimes that's a pity :-)

GPL should include that any legal knowledge has to be given back to the
community, too <g>.

-Michael Schnell, Krefeld, Germany,


 
 
 

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Michael Schnel » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 06:10:35



01:16

Quote:>You probably have to _distribute_ the software so others can use it?
>Does this answer the question? ;-)

Nope, what exactly is "distribute" regarding GPL (is the term explicitly
(re-)defined there. In Business usually _distribute_ means that something
leaves the _organization_.

Quote:

>He who owns the copyright on the software.

In Business, an employee does not own the copyright, but the one who pays,
does. Is this according to GPL ?

Quote:

>He who owns the copyright on the software. This obviously depends  on
>the contrcat between the consultant and his customer.

I suppose usually the customer acquires the copyright for individual
software he pays for. That means the consultant would not bother at all
about GPL (though according to your (IMHO questionable) answer to the first
question he _distributes_ the software to his customer).

Thanks, (but I think this is matter not really clear, can the GPL be clear
in a business/court sense at all ?)

-Michael Schnell, Krefeld, Germany,

 
 
 

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Robert Schwebe » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 20:14:19



> Can you publish the paragraph here verbally (in German) ?

I'll send it to you via email.

Robert
--
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
 +--------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Wolfgang Den » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:18:51




>> Can you publish the paragraph here verbally (in German) ?
>I'll send it to you via email.

Anything secret about this?

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux

You can do this in a number of ways.     IBM chose to do all of them.
Why do you find that funny?        -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

 
 
 

GPL regarding consultants

Post by Wolfgang Den » Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:17:31



>>You probably have to _distribute_ the software so others can use it?
>>Does this answer the question? ;-)
>Nope, what exactly is "distribute" regarding GPL (is the term explicitly
>(re-)defined there. In Business usually _distribute_ means that something
>leaves the _organization_.

I*- ask the FSF?

Quote:>>He who owns the copyright on the software.
>In Business, an employee does not own the copyright, but the one who pays,

This depends on the contract. Not all contracts look the same.

Quote:>does. Is this according to GPL ?

Ummm... The GPL does not care who holds the copyright; all  it  makes
sure that the holder has certain rules to follow...

Quote:>I suppose usually the customer acquires the copyright for individual
>software he pays for. That means the consultant would not bother at all

Wrong. For example, we (DENX) hold the copyright for  _all_  software
projects  we  performed so far, and _all_ are being distributed under
GPL. It is a matter of how  you  arrange  your  contracts  with  your
customers, that's all.

[Mind: if necessary, we will be working on proprietary code as  well,
but so far it was always to the benefit to our cutsomers (lower cost,
faster completion) when they agreeed on GPL based work.]

Quote:>about GPL (though according to your (IMHO questionable) answer to the first
>question he _distributes_ the software to his customer).

I'm not sure which part of my reply seems questionable  to  you.  But
only the holder of the copyright can decide if and how to distribute.

Quote:>Thanks, (but I think this is matter not really clear, can the GPL be clear
>in a business/court sense at all ?)

You should probably consult your lawyer. IANAL.

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
The game of life is a game of boomerangs.  Our  thoughts,  deeds  and
words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.

 
 
 

1. GPL regarding consultants

I think I do understand the GPL to a certain extend, but I do not find out
who is responsible for it.

 1st question:
 I gather the GPL has no effect regarding software that is created for pure
in-house use, as nothing is _distributed_. That seems to mean that an
employee of a company can create GPLed software and his colleagues may use
it freely without the need of publishing the source code. But what if the
company is a world-wide group with millions of employees ?

 2nd question:
 If an employee creates GPLed software for his company, who is responsible
for having the source code published ? The employee, the employer or both or
who else ?

 3rd question:
 If a consultant creates GPLed software for a customer and same uses it only
inhouse, do they need to publish the source code ? Who of the two is
responsible for this procedure ?

 4th question:
 If a consultant creates GPLed software for a customer and the customer
distributes the software either within a software-product to be installed by
their customer or as a part of an embedded system, who is responsible for
having the source code published ? The consultant (who does not create a
_product_ but works on paid hours, similar to an employee and does not
_distribute_ anything), the company (who _distributes_ the stuff)  or both
or who else ?

Any opinions ?

Thanks,

-Michael Schnell, Lumino GmbH,
 Oppumer Stra?e 81-83, D-47799 Krefeld, Germany.

 Tel.: +49-2151-8196-72  Fax: +49-2151-8196-66-72

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