Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on January 24, 2006 11:05 PM
My apologies if you were trying to be funny, but I missed the joke.
The GPL only comes into play when you *distribute* a modified version of a GPL-ed program. It does not come into play when you modify a program for your own use. So I am perfectly within my rights to modify GPL software, and then use it myself without being obligated to pass on my new source code. So I could modify the software to suit my own needs as a business owner, desktop publisher, or even weapons designer, and no one has any right to see what I've done.
Only if I try and redistribute the code, for sale or for free, does the GPL have any meaning. And it is definitely the code, not the products of the code, that is important here. A photograph edited with GIMP is not covered by GPL, and neither is a bomb designed or guided by some other FOSS.