[linux-elitists] SCO claims the GPL is invalid...?

Jonathan Corbet corbet-elite@lwn.net
Thu Aug 14 06:44:43 PDT 2003


It's in the Inquirer, so it must be true:

	http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=11031

	SCO WILL attempt to win its $3 billion case against IBM by arguing
	that the General Public Licence (GPL) is invalid.

	That's what a pleader at legal practice Boies Schiller and Flexner is
	telling the Wall Street Journal today.

	The GPL licence allows software and work derived from it to be
	copied by anyone at no charge.

	But according to today's WSJ, quoting lawyer Mark Heise, the GPL is
	pre-empted by US federal copyright law.

	How does that work then? According to Heise, federal law only lets
	people make a single backup copy of software, and that makes the
	GPL void under US law.

(What is it about web writing that decrees that paragraphs shall be one
sentence long?)

There's also a Heise article:
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/hps-14.08.03-000/.  The original
source, I guess, is the Wall Street Journal, but that is in accessible to
most of us.  I have no clue what these news sites think they are doing,
hiding behind subscription barriers like that...

Now, if the reasoning is as described above, I'm not particularly worried.
But they must have, somewhere, somebody who's a bit smarter than that.  And
who can put the crack pipe down long enough to try to mount a serious
attack on the GPL.  This might be worth asking about if anybody can get
past the gatekeeper at this morning's conference call.

jon



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