[rtmpdump] Licensing terms of rtmpdump (WAS: [PATCH] Add option --realtime (-R) to rtmpdump to disable the BUFX hack)

Alasdair Lumsden alasdairrr at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 15:17:46 CEST 2012

Hi Howard,

On 26/07/2012 13:04, Howard Chu wrote:

> Just as an aside, KSV is no longer licensed to use the rtmpdump project's code
> in any of his work. More explicitly, as the copyright owner of the Project, I
> am changing the license terms to specifically exclude him. Anyone else may
> still freely use the code under the terms of the GPL. KSV is expressly
> excluded, and has no rights to use the code in any way, no matter in what form
> the code arrived in his hands.

I think you've misunderstood the consequences of applying an open source 
license to code you have authored.

While you may be the copyright holder for any code you have authored, as 
soon as you apply the GPL license to that code, you waive certain 
rights, such as the ability to restrict who may or may not use the code.

The GPL clearly states "You may not impose any further restrictions on 
the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein."

Therefore you can't revoke someones right to use, distribute or modify 
any source code you have released under the GPL.

By way of an example, Oracle can't revoke peoples freedom to use 
OpenSolaris even though they decided to close the source and release 
Solaris 11 as commercial software after buying Sun Microsystems. As the 
new copyright holder of the code, they are entitled to re-license the 
software, which they do by stripping the CDDL header from all non-binary 
files they ship with Solaris 11. They have no obligation to publish new 
source code they write as the CDDL differs from the GPL in this regard, 
but they can't un-open-source previously open source software or add 
restrictions to previously released open source software.

If you write new code, you are certainly entitled to place restrictions 
upon it, but only if you don't license that code under the terms GPL.

KSV may have broken other laws by supplying patches which violate the 
copyright of other parties, or that violate the GPL, but that's a 
separate issue. You can't legally state that KSV may not use your 
software - by the terms of the GPL, he can.



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