Re: Corel Lawsuit
From: Gavriel State <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I'm not sure whether I should be posting this message.
I acknowledge that you guys are contributing work back to free software.
We appreciate that.
It's your legal department that has people tearing their hair. I worked
hard to sort out the first two gaffes. Not a third, please.
> Looking at clause 2-b of the GPL, I can see at least one interpretation
> myself that would *require* the 'minors clause' to prevent the licensing
> of the software to a third party who would not be bound to the GPLs own
> redistribution requirements. Or perhaps that makes it redundant. I'm
> not a lawyer - I don't really know.
The difference is that the GPL is a straight copyright permission, as on
a book, rather than a contract like the tear-open licenses you are used to.
You are responsible to comply with its terms, but you are _not_ responsible
for anyone else's compliance.
Right now, someone has to click "yes" on that license to get _my_ software,
to which it very clearly does not apply. Of course that has us annoyed.
A lot of the software contributors were legal minors at the time they
contributed the software, and some of them still are, and Corel accepted
_their_ licenses. Should they now turn around and say they had no legal
right to give you those licenses and thus they are void? Or shall we
assume that they had the collusion of their parent or guardian and thus
the licenses are legal, in which case you should make the same assumption
in your license?
> What I do know is that it's more productive for everyone if we work on
> these issues as a community.
Right. Corel _had_ an advisory board made up of people from the community.
They met once and never again. Your company seems to have dropped the ball.
But legal issues aside, you guys just seem to unintentionally, and without
any malice involved, do things to piss off the people who wrote your own
system every chance you get. Red Hat, in contrast, was much more careful
about these issues, and their success shows that.
Corel will not have them either if you just listen to the software
contributors a bit harder and ride herd on your own legal department
and its tendency to run things as they did for non-Open-Source software.