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

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Wed Apr 4 12:48:10 PDT 2001


"""""""" > > Heather writes:

Actually, someone else wrote this fragment, I was being replied to.

I wrote:
> Nit: just because all people who have bailed on the GPL to date, have...

'Twas Seth who said, among other bits:
> > The reason licenses might not be perpetual even when they have no
> > particular term is that licenses to do things with real and personal
> > property can generally be revoked.  And a promise without exchange of
> > consideration is also not usually legally enforceable.  Some people
> > say that distribution itself, or bug reports, or development, is a
> > form of consideration, but there is an objection that there no
> > "privity of contract" there.
> > 
> > Privity is a term of art I don't quite understand.  But it's something
> > you don't have in most software licensing, whether proprietary or
> > free.
> 
> I don't claim understanding, but I can spew verbage.  From _Black's Law
> Dictionary_:
> 
>     privity.  The relationship between two contracting parties, each
>     having a legally recognized interest in the subject matter of the
>     contract; mutuality of interest "the buyer and sseller are in
>     privyity".  Also termed _privity of contract_.
 
Thanks Karsten.  From a linguistics point of view, I'm guessing etymology
brings it forth via 'privy' as in, they are both privy to the details of
the matter at hand?

If so, then I'm certainly not privy to EULA details if I have to rip open
shrinkwrap to see it, and I suppose that since I am not interested in the
same things as the average vendor, that my usual 'tude to their license is
not going to be the friendly stance.  viz, nitpicking the GPL, even though
I agree with many of the principles aimed for, the whole point of inscribing
it in Copyright Law is because it's designed to restrict people trying to
play fast-n-loose with it.

Which, of course, means that it has a really strong dependency on Copyright
Law, and anything that seriously yanks the chain on *that* threatens its 
basis.  Besides numerous large corporate entities and an uncountable number 
of individual artists...

Okay, that concludes my "I'm not even a lawyer on tv either" moment.

* Heather * And it should be the law: If you use the word `paradigm' 
            without knowing what the dictionary says it means, you go 
            to jail.  No exceptions.  -- David Jones



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