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

Re: webmin license

Brian Behlendorf writes:

> On 15 Dec 1999, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > Brian Behlendorf <brian@apache.org> writes:
> > > On Mon, 13 Dec 1999, Marc van Leeuwen wrote:
> > 
> > > >    a) REMIND may not be used under Microsoft Windows (3.0, 3.1, 95
> > > >       or NT) or any future version of Windows.  Such use constitutes
> > > >       a violation of copyright.
> > 
> > > >    b) REMIND may not be used by Cadabra Design Libraries Inc. or its
> > > >       directors, nor by any of Cadabra's subsidiaries or their directors.
> > > >       Such use constitutes a violation of copyright.
> > 
> > > >    c) Except for situations (a) and (b), REMIND may be used and
> > > >       distributed according to the terms of the GNU General Public
> > > >       License, Version 2, which follows: [...]
> > 
> > > a) and b) contradict c).
> > 
> > No, because (c) explicitly states that (a) and (b) takes precedense
> > over the terms of the GPL.
> It doesn't matter that (c) says (a) and (b) take precedence - the GPL
> itself says no other conditions may take precedence.  So either what is
> distributed as the GPL is *not* the GPL, (nor should it be called a
> "patched GPL", as it reverses a significant part of what the GPL stands
> for) or the GPL takes precedence.  I'm sure Stallman would say the same
> thing, with a bit more of a bite too.  This document is
> self-contradictory.  I don't know what copyright or contract law says
> about a license that self-contradicts.

Well, the GPL itself handles that case:

	If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your
	obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations,
	then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all.

So I don't think there's a problem of interpretation. :-)

I'm going to reply to another message soon on the subject of whether you
can modify the GPL, directly or indirectly.

But that particular issue is moot as far as this license goes.  Since this
license does not even _attempt_ to modify the GPL, the interpretation of
the GPL is very clear and unambiguous: just as Brian says, the GPL forbids
this sort of thing (in particular, it forbids prospective distributors from
imposing or passing on additional restrictions).  Therefore, these terms
_do_ contradict the GPL, and the GPL leads us to the conclusion that, in
this case, "you" (a third party receiving a copy somehow) "may not
distribute the Program at all".

That conclusion is not at all accidental.

If I write the Big Beard License Version 2, which says

	You may use, copy, modify, distribute, and sublicense this software
	without restriction in any form and through any medium, provided
	that you both

	(a) have a big beard, and
	(b) do not have a big beard.

	If you do not meet both of these conditions, this license grants you
	no right to redistribute the software.

then I don't think that it would be a big shock that I haven't given anybody
permission to redistribute software.  So when somebody writes a license that
boils down to

	You may distribute this software, provided that in every instance
	you both

	(a) distribute it under the GPL, and
	(b) do not distribute it under the GPL

it shoulnd't be a big shock that this means "no permission to distribute".

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

Reply to: