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Re: IBM public license

bruce@perens.com <bruce@perens.com> wrote:
> This is what I got back from IBM's attorney. Given that there seem to
> be other problems that would prevent GPL compatibility, I don't think
> I'll pursue this further.

That's up to you, of course.

Basically, this just seems to be a line of reasoning to the effect
that the GPL would be enforced more firmly if the author is willing to
participate in defending it.  While true, this doesn't seem particularly
relevant to the issue of IBM/GPL compatibility.  [Also, in the specific
case of GPLed code, B has required C redistribute source code with any
binaries, so it's more than clear that B isn't distributing a legal copy
of the source.]

As I'm not currently developing anything which would require mingling of
IBM and GPLed code, I have no immediate need for any such licensing issues
to be dealt with.  And this IBM license *is* much freer than any license
I've seen from IBM.

But I'm curious about these other conflicts.  I've not read the license
closely enough to pin them down or to rule them out.  Having someone
else's insight on the matter would be illuminating.



> > I am a little confused by the scenario, but let me try to help. I am not sure
> > why C would go to B for anything but nevertheless I
> > think the answer will turn on the exact language of A's agreement and what
> > obligation they seek to pass on. If the language
> > was crisp and clear and the obligation was an enforceable one I would think that
> > A could require it to be passed on and B would
> > have accepted that obligation when they took the object code (and accepted the
> > associated license agreement).  However, I am
> > not sure whether C would have legal "standing" to sue B on the obligation that
> > they failed to adhere to in A's agreement - because
> > the "agreement" with the obligation is officially between A and B and not C.
> > But there is a theory called at third party beneficiary -
> > so C could try to argue that they were the intended third party beneficiary of
> > the Agreement between A and B and therefore C should be
> > able to pursue B if they fail to live up to their obligation. Please note,
> > however, that the third party beneficiary theory is subject to a number
> > of caveats and may or may not apply- the outcome will likely focus on the
> > language of A's agreement. For example, if A's agreement had an
> > express provision that said that all persons to which B gives the code are
> > intended third party beneficiaries to this Agreement
> > there would be a stronger argument that C would have the right to go after B in
> > court.
> > 
> > That is not to say that even if C does not have a right to sue B on the
> > Agreement between A and B -  that C can still convince
> > A to sue B for B's failure to adhere to the terms of their agreement.  I am not
> > sure if this helps..... but  If you would like to provide
> > me the exact wording of the obligation I may be able to help you further. Also,
> > just wondering does this have anything to do
> > with the IBM Public License?
> > 

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