GPL and GPL-with-Strings, Part 2

There are lies and then there are damned lies. Sometimes it gets worse.

The DSL team where sloppy when they violated GPL in this instance as it would have been easy enough for them to comply, while still undermining the standard platform I am(was) trying to create. Maybe I would have only been half as annoyed, and just complained a little, but as it is they removed my copyrights from my work which added insult to injury …

John Murga

The above quote is not just a lie or a damned lie, it’s a goddamned lie. First, the GPL was not violated. There were zero changes made to source, just in the compilation; the source is also available (had he asked to see it and compared it to his own he would find no changes where he said there were some). Second, no copyrights were touched. Robert Shingledecker has posted the relevant code directly from Murga’s own tarball to show what was (or rather, wasn’t) there; after being proven wrong, Murga asked for an attribution to be added where there was none. Third, there was no injury. Fourth, the only insult was Murga’s decision to throw a public tirade and make unfounded accusations against others.

The only thing that changed with respect to attributions in the recompilation is Murga’s name at the invocation of any part of the runtime — lua, FLTK, sqlite, zlib, luafs, luasocket, etc. — even though he wrote none of that. That’s what hurt his feelings. Not that the GPL was ever violated.

I’ll reiterate what I posted this morning in the DSL forums: It appears that DSL didn’t violate the GPL in this instance, the author of the bindings did. Not only does he want to dictate how his code is configured and compiled, he demands credit even when it’s not due him. Both points are in violation of the license he chose — he wants to control the entire runtime and he demanded credit not due him even when his bindings weren’t used.

The FSF and SFLC have traditionally come to the assistance of developers when the GPL has been violated. Would they be interested in standing up for users when an author starts making demands and attaching strings to code he or she places under the GPL?

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