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GPL and NDA
- To: gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org
- Subject: GPL and NDA
- From: Richard Stallman <rms at gnu dot org>
- Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 05:07:10 -0600 (MDT)
- Reply-to: rms at gnu dot org
GPL-covered code may not be distributed under an NDA.
To do so is a violation of the GPL.
If someone asks you to sign an NDA for receiving GPL-covered code that
is copyright FSF, please inform the FSF immediately. If it involves
GPL-covered code that has some other copyright holder, please inform
that copyright holder, just as you would for any other kind of
violation of the GPL.
It is possible for a person or company to develop changes to a
GPL-covered program and sign an NDA promising not to release these
changes *to anyone*. This is a different case. As long as these
changes are not distributed at all, a fortiori they are not
distributed in a way that violates the GPL.
However, if and when the changes are distributed to another person or
outside the company, they must be distributed under the terms of the
GPL, not under an NDA.