The next step

Simon Marlow
Mon, 28 May 2001 17:48:04 +0100

> On 2001-05-28T16:14:29+0100, Simon Marlow wrote:
> > As I understand it, the situation is worse than that.  The mere
> > existence of GPL code poses a threat to commercial software: if a
> > programmer happens to read some GPL code and then goes on=20
> to use similar
> > techniques in proprietary code, the owner of the=20
> proprietary code is in
> > a legally difficult position.
> Really?  I've assumed that GPL only deals with copyright, and
> techniques one uses in code are matters of patents and trade secrets.

Sure, but if the code in the proprietary source ends up looking similar
enough to the GPL code, it might be hard to prove that it wasn't a
derived work.  This is a risk you just don't want to take if your
business depends on keeping your sources non-free.