[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: freedomization task list [was: Re: Dangerous precedent being

On Dec 13, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Tomasz Wegrzanowski <maniek@beer.com> writes:
> > What kind of free licence make such situations possible ???
> > (for me it is not free even a little bit if author can change
> >  his mind and take away your freedom)
> I'm told that under American law, a promise that is made without
> getting something tangible (a "consideration") in return cannot be
> legally binding. That would seem to allow any free software license
> to be revoked as soon as the author wants to.
> I might be wrong, though. Can one of the American law guys comment?

This month's Linux Magazine has an article about this subject (and
related concepts).  It is possible that the right of future access to
source code could be considered "consideration," since the software
would not have been used in the absence of that right.

IANAL, of course, and this has never been litigated.

My gut feeling is that a court would never rule the GPL as invalid,
though, if only because there are virtually no positive ramifications
of such a ruling (because if the GPL is invalid, then NOBODY can use
GPLed code... it wouldn't revert to the public domain, which is the
only "benefit" that an overturned GPL might have to proprietary
software companies!).

|        Chris Lawrence        |         Get Debian GNU/Linux CDROMs        |
|   <quango@watervalley.net>   |        http://www.lordsutch.com/cds/       |
|                              |                                            |
|     Open Directory Editor    |   Visit the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5:   |
|       http://dmoz.org/       |   <*> http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/ <*>   |

Reply to: