Re: GPL v3 Draft
On 2/16/06, Alexander Terekhov <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On 2/15/06, Steve Langasek <email@example.com> wrote:
> > On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 10:26:10AM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > > On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:47:32PM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > > > On 2/14/06, John Goerzen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > > > > On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:01:05PM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > > > > > But we all know that the GPL is a license-not-a-contract, and so UCC
> > > > > > and related case law simply doesn't apply.
> > > > > Do we? I thought that a license was a contract.
> > > > Everyone who is neither blind nor an idiot knows for certain that the
> > > > GPL is a *LICENSE NOT A CONTRACT* -- Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen
> > > > have clarified that fact at least a hundred times.
> > > What purpose do you feel calling a person "blind" or an "idiot" serves?
> > > I don't think you are contributing anything to this discussion.
> > He's not. Would you please killfile him so that we can get on with life? :)
> Oh c'mon, I try all my best.
> This would not be a presentation about the GPL by me if emphasis was
> not placed on what you see before you now. This license is
> "Not a Contract.
> You are not required to accept this License in order to receive a copy
> of the Program."
> We have not argued now, nor will we, nor can anyone argue, who reads
> the text of the language, that the receipt of the code is some
> quid-pro-quo for the acceptance of some terms. If you are existing in
> a legal system in which that wasn't what made it a contract, then
> ...go with God, but arguments based on the contractual exchange of the
> code for promises of compliance have nothing to do with us. We give
> permissions here and the enforcement weight of our license lies in the
> fact that you have no permission to propagate, that is, you have no
> permission to do what copyright law requires permission to do, but
> through this license. That's our legal theory and we are sticking to
On another forum, I've posted a link to
as an example of Moglen's talent in bullshit rap:
Current research proceeds by facilitating
high-energy collisions between widely-dispersed
non-homogeneous randomly-motivated incremental
acts of individual creativity and large masses
of ill-gotten wealth.
I've also asked if anyone ever saw a computer program written by Eben
I am a historian and a computer programmer,
(nodody replied thus far).
Finally, I suggested that someone must tell Eben that he got a broken
link to Manifesto of the Communist Party.
See Moglen, The DotCommunist Manifesto[link] (2003). See and hear
Moglen, The DotCommunist Manifesto: How Culture Became Property and
What We're Going to Do About It[link] (University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill, November 8, 2001). See also Crane Brinton, The Anatomy
of Revolution (New York, Prentice-Hall: 1952) (mult. repr.) (unfree);
Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy;
Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Boston, Beacon
Press: 1966) (mult. repr.) (unfree); Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels,
Manifesto of the Communist Party[BROKEN link], (English ed. London,
1888) (Engels ed.) (mult. repr.) (mult. trans.).
Now Alex let's not rag on Eben's qualities. It is well known that
Eben has impeccable credentials and legal judgement. His wisdom is
spread far and wide. Ever free software advocate in the United
States accepts what Eben says as gospel truth:
"Licenses are not contracts: the work's user is obliged to remain
within the bounds of the license not because she voluntarily
promised, but because she doesn't have any right to act at all
except as the license permits."
Even Groklaw's PJ knows this to be a fact:
"The GPL is a License, Not a Contract, Which is Why the Sky Isn't
Only a small, irrelevent segment of the U.S. population doesn't
know this. . . the entire federal judiciary and the professional
lawyers hired to defend the F.S.F.
Perhaps with Eben's charm they'll come to see things his way. . .
I guess one can always hope.