[linux-elitists] Bizarre press release of the day

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Fri Nov 21 13:44:09 PST 2003

Quoting Adam Kessel (adam@bostoncoop.net):

> I understand that GPLv2 does not purport to be a contract, but (1) it
> may be a contract regardless of what it purports itself to be....

1.  That is already implicit in my wording, I believe.  

2.  At the risk of driving my earlier point into the ground:  Evaluating
its validity as a contract (which it is not intended to be) sheds no
light on its enforceability purely under copyright law.  

I stress the latter point because a depressing stream of law-review
articles keep blowing it.

> I think the more serious concern was that the product would have been
> released and widely disseminated and the infringement might have come to
> light much later in the process, in which case there could be serious
> damages.

This is, once again, exactly the same as what might have happened with a
differently-licensed (but non-BSD, non-public domain) library used in
its place.  Thus my point.

> Of course I'm with you on all of this, but I do think in practice it may
> be easier for GPL code to slip in unnoticed or accidentally.  As I'm
> sure you're aware, some developers don't quite appreciate the
> not-so-subtle distinctions between GPL, BSD, and public domain, and
> just assume "free is free."

Once again, my point concerned _software companies and their law firms_,
which are supposed to understand the concepts of third-party rights and
due diligence -- or are held accountable for them, in any event.

Cheers,                             * Contributing Editor, Linux Gazette *
Rick Moen                       -*- See the Linux Gazette in its new home: -*-
rick@linuxmafia.com                       <http://linuxgazette.net/>         

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list