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

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Tue Jul 8 05:55:36 PDT 2003

On Mon, 2003-07-07 at 18:46, Karsten M. Self wrote:

I don't know why I'm still on this list, I guess I have to go do some
research on how (if not mail to <list>-request, which I tried) one gets
off this crazy thing (appologies to Mr. Jetson). But since, I'm being
spoken of.

> This is of course Mr. Sherman's "a given work can only be governed by
> one license / contract" chimera.  He suggested it.  I provided several
> score counterexamples from a partial Debian install, admittedly not the
> consequence of copious research, but a readily executed grep-and-compare
> query showing projects using the dual of GNU GPL and BSD licensing.

I still hold to my point there, although as I noted in my mail to you
which you kindly deleted without reading, I was wrong in some other
areas that I think are very enlightening....

You provided excellent examples which are distributed under exactly the
terms I desribed: either a) a single "meta-license" that desribes how
two or more other licenses are to be applied, that's one license b) a
single license with a particular chunk of code being under another
license... this case is odd, and I think it's a case-by case deal...
certainly you can receive two packages in one bundle, but the details of
aggregation are murky here, and I don't think those projects can be sure
what the result is c) grosly incorrect licensing terms where one project
has two or more mutually contradictory licenses laying around with no
clear indication of which one might apply in which circumstances.

RPM was one of the exmaples you gave, and it SPECIFICALLY states the
terms under which you are to apply two different licenses... what would
you call those terms if not "a license"?

As I said in my mail to you, which you ignored, there are many cases
which are murky, but most of them involve software under no license at
all. For example, when you create a derived work from a number of
licensed sources, that derived work is not licensed, and that's an
important thing to remember. You don't license a work to yourself, but
you may well still be bound by the terms of those other licenses and you
might not even be able to distribute the resulting derived work, because
the licenses under which you received the original works give you no
rights to sub-licence a derived work. This work is not licensed, it's
copyrighted... that distinction is, I think, the key point of confusion
in our discussion. Licenses vs copyrights. You can respond by saying
something as witty as your previous jabs at my ability to reason, but
ultimately I don't see where you disagree with me, except over the
definition of the word "multiple" in this context.

The GPL is a particularly interesting example which requires that you
distribute derived works under the same terms. That means that when and
if you want to distribute you have three choices: dont'; distribute
under the GPL; get a different set of terms from the owner of the GPLed
code. This last option is most enlightening. You took GPLed code,
derived something from it, and then re-worked the terms. Your work isn't
tainted by the GPL, it's tainted by the copyright on the original work
(I hate when people say that the GPL is viral, it's not, copyright is...
not that anyone here has said that, just a side-point I've had to
re-state in a few places).

> Mr.
> Sherman had best make haste to provide something vaguely resembling a
> reasoned, coherent, factually based argument for his extraordinary
> claim, rather than argumentation by repetition.

I've never waivered in my claim, and I think it's a very reasonable
claim. I don't understand where you think I failed to provide supporting
structure to the points I made.

> This would include caselaw, legislative citations, legal articles, and
> answering to criticism or counterexamples.

Oh, for pete's sake, you're not going into citing such sources, and
neither will I. Give it a rest. These are the basics of copyright and
licensing, not some obscure point of law.

> Mr. Sherman has provided none of these.

Neither have you.

> Instead, he argues from assertion, from repetition, denies counter
> evidence, and descends to whinging about the critical treatment he's

Critical is one thing. Harsh and abusive another. When you start jabbing
at me, saying that I'm illogical, and that someone "more stupid than"
you would be required for the conversation, that has nothing to do with
logic or reasonable debate.

> receiving from free software licensing discussion veterans such as Mr.
> Moen and myself, in the best tradition of legacy MS Windows shills (I
> said something rediculous concernin GNU/Linux / Free Software / The GPL
> and look at the horrible response I received from people calling me bad
> names).

Shall I point out how the above is flawed, or would you like to?

> Very simply:  Mr. Sherman has provided nothing to argue, merely some
> very ill-formed gainsaying.  He's failed to substantiate his arguments,
> he's failed to respond to criticism, he's failed to admit ignorance or
> error.


> Which is another reason I largely avoid direct discussion with such
> individuals.  I'll observe the fallacy or preposterousness of their
> position, but realize there's little hope for rational engagement.


> Mr. Sherman is more than welcome to prove me wrong on the last point.

Did, long time ago. You claimed to have deleted the mail, unread.

Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com>
Senior Systems Engineer and Toolsmith
"It's the sound of a satellite saying, 'get me down!'" -Shriekback

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
Url : http://allium.zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/attachments/20030708/97b00a4f/attachment.pgp 

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list