[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.]

Peter Samuelson wrote:
>>>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.
> [Roberto C. Sanchez]
>>But it can't be done, period.
>>Reference: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
> That I am not legally trained does not make me completely unschooled in
> these things.  Believe it or not, I actually did already know the FSF's
> position on the revocability of the GPL.  That is why I opened my
> message with a sentence you helpfully did not quote:
>>>It seems to me that this is another of those things everyone takes
>>>for a postulate just because the FSF said so.
> I'm much more interested in arguments that do not start with "well, the
> FSF says..." or "this is ridiculous, everyone knows that..." or even
> "for 12 years we've all assumed...".  It seems to me that the FSF
> position on the irrevocability of free software depends on the
> interesting dual notions that the license is not a contract, but
> nonetheless the copyright holder is bound by it.  Michael Edwards
> disputes the former notion; this seems to be a productive line of
> reasoning.

Point taken.  However, the GPL clearly states the conditions in
section 6:

  6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
this License.

To me, that says "Once the cat is out, it's out for good."  So,
if you as the author of GPL software, try to restrict someone that
has already received your software under the terms of the GPL, then
you violate the license.  Since you are the author, it doesn't
affect you so much, since you are also the copyright holder.

The only other alternative is that the GPL is not enforceable.
That would probably call into question the validity of all software
licenses.  However, I am not lawyer (I'm sure you guessed that by
now), so I will refrain from speaking further on this subject.

Incidentally, if there was so much controversy about this and the
origins and rights to the code have been in question, why has
SourceForge let the project continue for 2 years?  I imagine that
it is not their responsibility that to comb through every piece
of code housed on their servers.  However, I would imagine that
it would be part of their due diligence to verify whether a project
like this can even exist on their servers in the first place.


Roberto C. Sanchez

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: OpenPGP digital signature

Reply to: