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

Brooklyn Linux Solutions CEO ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Mon Apr 2 16:08:34 PDT 2001


Once someone has a copy of the work under a GPL license, they have recieved
an unending right to distribute the code and make deriviative works.

Whatever theoretical means the original copyright holder has to repeal the
license, the current licensees are without contraint.


Ruben


On 2001.04.02 17:59:19 -0400 Heather wrote:
> > 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!
> 
> False. 
> 
> Nobody has ever legally revoked a grant of GPL or another of the
> "classic" free licenses on existing code. In cases where the license has
> changed (recent example: Ogg Vorbis) the new license has applied to a
> new version.

Nit: just because all people who have bailed on the GPL to date, have
chosen
to make it clear that their new license plan relates to the new version,
doesn't change their right as The Real Copyright Holder to yank licensing
on old stuff.

OTOH, reality does, since US is really a study in case law, and if they 
took it to court, a holder of The Random Chunk of Source Code could clearly
state that they are propogating their own adjusted copy (derivitive works
are vehemently createble, according to GPL) -

The smart Chain Yanking Tune-Changer would make it clear the provisions
of GPL (subsection mentioned elsewhere) make it clear that if one holder
denies access, all derivates must cease distribution.

The point of the FSF thing is to (1) make it really really clear who the
singular copyright holder is, this makes it easier to establish clear
cases,
(2) to thus allow FSF's horde of lawyers to stand up for the code, and 
(political, definitely unmentioned, but likely a very important reason
from the RMS point of view) since the original author is no longer the
holder, the original author can't revoke the license, and the FSF overall
intends to maintain the GPL, which then lets the original author plus
multitude more, continue to bang on the code, ad insanitum.

In theory the FSF could yank a project's plug, but in practice it would 
degarde their high horse moral position, as well as putting some
nasty potholes for themselves into general case law, so they probably 
wouldn't rush to do that.

Also in practice the clearer way to pull a project's plug is the oubliette.
If it's out there but not highly mirrored (pointed to directly, instead) 
and the links grow dusty as it moves amid ISPs, then eventually only farts 
will remember enough keywords to look for its True Home, even though it's 
"publicly available".

* Heather * The sun never sets on those who ride into it.  -- RKO
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