Fwd: Re: Fwd: [linux-elitists] Wow, M$ is even more evil than I thought

Seth David Schoen schoen@loyalty.org
Mon Apr 2 13:30:10 PDT 2001


Aaron Lehmann writes:

> ----- Forwarded message from Bryan-TheBS-Smith <thebs@theseus.com> -----
> 
> Aaron Lehmann wrote:
> > ----- Forwarded message from Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org> -----
> > <ianal>This is bullshit. The classic free software licenses cannot be
> > revoked by the copyright holder. If they were, all free software would
> > be no freer than q...l, and there would be no OpenSSH in its present
> > form. (I know OpenSSH is under the BSD license, but same principle.)
> > The Cyber Patrol case was an example of blatant legal harassment -- Cyber
> > Patrol had no case, and neither the original author nor the asignee had
> > any power to take back anything granted under GPL.</ianal>
> > ----- End forwarded message -----
> 
> [ Please forward to the appropriate list ]
> 
> All I know is that every "case study/discussion" I've seen on GPL
> says that the GPL can ultimately be circumvented since all rights
> are reserved to the copyright holder under Copyright Law.  The
> copyright holder has the right to release his/her own GPL code as
> another license -- otherwise, "dual licenses" couldn't exist.  In
> such case, the copyright holder can license or even re-assign that
> copyright, including all rights, to whomever he/she desires -- and
> that _includes_revoking_ and past or current licenses!

That's different, because dual licensing is _additional_.

Dual licensing is granting an additional, separate permission for the
copying of a copyrighted work.

It might be possible to revoke a license, but not for this reason.

> Now in the case of Microsoft Passport.COM, no, they could not
> "revoke" the GPL version -- and I was NOT making that case.  Why? 
> Because they are not the sole copyright holder.  *BUT* as a
> copyright holder, they can redistribute, re-license and/or do
> anything else with it as they see fit.  *THAT* was the point I was
> making -- that GPL projects are *NOT* immune if their copyright
> holder uploads via any program/service that is tied to the
> Passport.COM agreement.

This is true (if that's what the Passport agreement says).

> where the GPL project orginators signing over all copyrights to
> Cyber Patrol, and yanked the program off their site.  Now it may be
> impossible to track down all the copies, but it would be an
> interesting case to argue that the GPL license, no longer licensed
> as GPL by all copyright holders (which is now solely Cyber Patrol),
> gives any arbitrary party the right to the software.

As a matter of law, this is a very interesting open question.

As a matter of fact, no, not all of that software was actually
released under the GPL.  But Jansson and Skala did originally
encourage mirroring, which is a much more informal form of license
grant.

-- 
Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5



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