[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [WASTE-dev-public] Do not package WASTE! UNAUTHORIZED SOFTWARE [Was: Re: Questions about waste licence and code.]

On 5/18/05, Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org> wrote:
> I know at least one developer on a prominent open source project who
> believes otherwise, and claims to be prepared to revoke their license
> to her code, if they do certain things to piss her off.  Presumably
> this is grounded on the basis of her having received no consideration,
> since it's a bit harder to revoke someone's right to use something they
> bought and paid for.  It is also possible that she's a looney.

If the GPL were the creature of copyright law that the FSF proclaims,
or the unilateral contract that some apologists believe, that would be
a real problem.  Talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences! 
Happily, there is no defect of consideration in the GPL, as the
covenants of return performance (principally the obligation to offer
source code) are non-trivial promises with some value to the licensor.
 Thread at http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/12/msg00209.html
; note references to Planetary Motion v. Techplosion 2001 later in the

> Yes, I'm aware that if it's possible to revoke the GPL, it fails the
> Tentacles of Evil test, and GPL software would be completely unsuitable
> for any serious deployment.  Note, however, that "but it *can't* be
> that way because if it is, we're all in trouble" is not a very strong
> argument.

It's not a meaningless argument, though; there's a doctrine of
reliance that can substitute for acceptance under some circumstances,
and might be used to estop a copyright holder from yanking an
ostensibly perpetual license if all else failed.  IANAL, etc.

- Michael

Reply to: