Re: [WASTE-dev-public] Do not package WASTE! UNAUTHORIZED SOFTWARE [Was: Re: Questions about waste licence and code.]
On 5/19/05, Raul Miller <email@example.com> wrote:
[snip Raul's honest and polite response]
> I've been objecting to the nature of the generalizations you've been
> making. In other words, I see you asserting that things which are
> sometimes true must always be true.
> In the case of the "contract" issue -- I've been arguing that it's
> not always the case that the law will rely solely on contract law.
> I've not been arguing that contract law would never apply.
I believe it to be the case that contract law is the only basis on
which the text of the GPL has any significance whatsoever in any
jurisdiction I have heard spoken of, except that some jurisdictions
may also apply doctrines of estoppel, reliance, etc. against the FSF
and other GPL licensors in tort proceedings. An action for copyright
infringement, or any similar proceeding under droit d'auteur for
instance, will look at the GPL (like any other license agreement) only
through the lens of contract law. IANAL, TINLA. I don't believe you
have succeeded in providing any evidence to the contrary.
> In my opinion, an assertion that contract law would never apply
> would involve the same kind of over generalization as an assertion
> that contract law must always apply.
Contract law (or its equivalent in a civil law system) always applies
to offers of contract; that's kind of tautological. And the GPL has
no legal significance as anything other than an offer of contract,
except perhaps as a public statement by the FSF and hence conceivably
as grounds for estoppel.
> I have been convinced, over the last week, that within the U.S.,
> contract law will almost always apply. I think there is a basis
> even in U.S. law for other kinds of legal action, but I think that
> you're much more likely to find examples in international law
> than in U.S. law.
People with actual legal qualifications in continental Europe and in
Brazil, as well as other laymen who read and cite law, have weighed in
on this one. While they are less prolix than I, they seem to be no
less certain as to the offer-of-contract nature of the GPL. Have you
any more evidence to adduce in opposition?
- From: Thomas Bushnell BSG <firstname.lastname@example.org>