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Re: Dangerous precedent being set - possible serious violation o

Caspian writes:

> On 30 Nov 1999, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > Caspian <caspian@twu.net> writes:
> > 
> > > But in Corel's case, they're taking a whole bundle of free software,
> > > making a little smidgen of free software themselves, adding some
> > > non-free software, then saying: 
> > [..]
> > > 	* GPL? What GPL? I see no mention of the GPL in our license...
> > 
> > Excuse me, but that is grossly misrepresenting what Corel does.
> > 
> > The EULA that was posted here a couple of days ago is quite explicit
> > about most of the software being licenced under "the GPL and other
> > licenses that allow free modification and redistribution" (or some
> > similar language). They repeat that in several different places in the
> > text.
> Okay then, and actually, now that I think about it, yes, I do remember
> seeing a mention of the GPL in the license. However, the segment at the
> top seems to be stating that all the software in Corel Linux is
> proprietary. Read the part that babbles on about the rights to the source,
> etc. being "protected" by copyright law on behalf of Corel, Corel
> (somethingorother), and "other" entities (i.e. the FSF?)

Although the FSF has discouraged people from saying "copyright protection",
_all_ GPLed software is _always_ copyrighted, which is why the GPL has any
effect within the present intellectual property law regimes.

Legally, the GPL is a license granting certain rights with respect to a
copyrighted work.  In that regard, it is the same as any of Corel's
proprietary licenses.

When Corel says that

	All right, title and interest in the Software Programs, including
	source code, documentation, appearance, structure and organization,
	are held by Corel Corporation, Corel Corporation Limited, and others
	and are protected by copyright and other laws. 

they are not saying anything incorrect, unless Corel Linux includes some
software which is explicitly public domain.  (In that case, they could
have said "All right, title, and interest in almost all of the Software
Programs...", but I don't think their lawyers would like that very much.)

It would be legally correct to say that all right, title, and interest in
GNU Emacs is held by the Free Software Foundation and others and is
protected by copyright and other laws -- which doesn't mean that Emacs is
proprietary software in the FSF's sense.  (But it _is_ "proprietary" in
that it has a legally recognized owner.)

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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