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Re: Corel Lawsuit

bruce@perens.com (Bruce Perens) writes:

> Perhaps not _this_ time, but I am throwing up my hands because I
> have no way to keep them from doing something much more clueless
> next time and then a suit may indeed be necessary.

Your work is appreciated, and your frustration understandable.

> A lot of the software contributors were legal minors at the time they
> contributed the software, and some of them still are, and Corel accepted
> _their_ licenses. Should those contributors now turn around and say they
> had no legal right to give Corel those licenses and thus they are void?
> Or shall we assume that they had the collusion of their parent or guardian
> and thus the licenses are legal, in which case Corel should make the same
> assumption in their license?

Perhaps we should draft a list of all developers who are minors,
either of packaged software, or those who contributed work by
packaging, and explain to Corel that if they are going to take this
position on rstricting downloads, then they are implying that their
agreements with these developers are not valid, and they have no right
to distribute their software at all?

I will make a call to the debian-devel list asking for all developers
who are "minors" to contact me and I'll collect names.  Or, is there a
easier way to get that information?

This issue strikes hard for me because I was a minor when I started
working with Free Software, and without Free Software I never would
have had the oppurtunities to work with other programmers and learn
how to complete projects.  Also, it was a commmunity that accepted me,
and my opinions despite my lack in years.

> I am trying to explain to them that they are distributing somebody
> else's software, and they keep unintentionally, and with no malice
> involved, pissing off the very people who wrote their system.

Stupidity, as opposed to malice, may be the biggest problem we face
with our software licenses in the future.  The multiplication of Free
Software licenses makes it even more complex.  I'm glad that Debian
has the DFSG to provide a baseline for Free Software licenses we work

Craig Brozefsky                         <craig@red-bean.com>
Free Scheme/Lisp Software     http://www.red-bean.com/~craig
"riot shields. voodoo economics. its just business. cattle 
 prods and the IMF." - Radiohead, OK Computer, Electioneering

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