[linux-elitists] The breadth of SCO's claims

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Fri Jul 4 14:57:42 PDT 2003

Quoting Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com):

> Every lawyer I've ever spoken to about software copyright and
> licensing has always made it clear that a license *is* a contract.

Please be specific.  The particular licences they were looking at, when
you spoke to them, would typically have been part of a business
contract, as the situations lawyers are accustomed to dealing with most
typically involve proprietary software.

> If copyright law defines it as a non-contract, I've never seen that,
> and would be open to it.

Please try re-reading (as examples) what the GPL and LGPL _state_.

Please also re-read the Second Restatement of Contracts to see why
privity is a problem with redistribution.  If you are not yet familiar
with the required elements of contract -- and it seems very likely that
you are not -- then you are wasting your time and mine.

> I think what you're snagging on here is this: The various licenses
> that you list are OPTIONAL.

1.  Don't try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

2.  That's not relevant to the topic.

> The reason that they work is that copyright law prevents you from
> distributing or deriving your own works without a license to do so.
> That license is very much a contract....

Still wrong.

> Yes it was based on that premise, which as far as I understand, is a
> correct premise.

Sorry, I don't have time for this.

> As for privity, I think that's covered quite well in section 5 of the
> GPL. You get to accept the terms of the GPL at any time, and if you do
> not you don't get its benefits, but you're welcome to go down that
> road if you wish.

Kindly re-read the definition of privity.

> I'm planning on writing an extensive essay on Open Source licensing
> for people who are trying to decide how to license their software....

Please don't.  I mean that sincerely.

Maybe Karsten has time and patience for revisiting this matter with you,
but I don't.

Cheers,              First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing, for
Rick Moen            verbing weirds language.  Then, they arrival for the nouns
rick@linuxmafia.com  and I speech nothing, for I no verbs. - Peter Ellis

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