Re: freedomization task list [was: Re: Dangerous precedent being
On Mon, 13 Dec 1999, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> On Dec 13, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > I'm told that under American law, a promise that is made without
> > getting something tangible (a "consideration") in return cannot be
> > legally binding. That would seem to allow any free software license
> > to be revoked as soon as the author wants to.
> > I might be wrong, though. Can one of the American law guys comment?
> This month's Linux Magazine has an article about this subject (and
> related concepts). It is possible that the right of future access to
> source code could be considered "consideration," since the software
> would not have been used in the absence of that right.
Certainly people who were contributing modifications to an existing
GPL'ed code base would be getting a tangible consideration for doing so.
I'm not sure how this would apply to original authors who don't accept
external patches - mostly because of the "tangibility" requirement. On
the other hand, you might be able to quantify in monetary terms the time
spent by others in bug-finding and reporting even without patches.
> of such a ruling (because if the GPL is invalid, then NOBODY can use
> GPLed code... it wouldn't revert to the public domain, which is the
> only "benefit" that an overturned GPL might have to proprietary
> software companies!).
except the original authors, if they haven't accepted any patches
significant enough to qualify for copyright protection.