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

On 5/19/05, Michael K. Edwards <m.k.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
> Perhaps that is indeed what you would do.  I don't consider lawyers to
> be the only persons capable of reading the law for themselves.  They
> are the only ones authorized to offer certain forms of legal advice
> and legal representation, but that's a whole 'nother animal.

In a sense, it's that ability to offer legal advice which I was
talking about.

In any event, I'd consider going to a lawyer as better than
listening to someone else reading the law for themselves.

> Happily, the public record is not limited to websites under the FSF's
> control.  Google Eben Moglen for the text of various interviews, and
> read his statements (especially paragraph 18) in
> http://www.gnu.org/press/mysql-affidavit.html -- or Google's cached
> copy, if that URL mysteriously stops working.

Are you talking about point18?  It's pretty clear that 18 refers to
people who are not engaged in copying or distributing.
There are no terms in the GPL which impose any contractual
obligations in those cases.

(Though it is the case that if someone is distributing a work
illegally, that a person could receive work which supposedly
has been released under the GPL but where parts of it aren't
legal for further distribution.)

> > I can only guess that you're objecting to the implication that
> > copyright law is somehow important to understanding the
> > GPL.
> Presumably this bit of grandstanding is meant for the benefit of any
> reader who doesn't know that you and I have been spamming debian-legal
> (and on and off debian-devel) with this debate for months, and hence
> you can guess a great deal more than that.

Well... if I thought I understood what your points were, I'd probably
be in better shape here.  For the most parts, I'm hung up on what
appear to me to be gross leaps of illogic, and I'm reduced to guessing
about what your points are.

> > I'm stopping here because I'm assuming that the rest of what
> > you wrote is somehow logically related to these assertions
> > which do not appear in the FAQ.
> Yeah, right.  Like you haven't been arguing strenuously for months
> that the GPL is not an offer of contract.  I am starting to question
> your sincerity again.

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.

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.

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.


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