Re: freedomization task list [was: Re: Dangerous precedent being
> > The GPL is also not a contract, it's a public license.
> This I suppose would make a difference... I hope :}
1) Consideration is defined by my old Emanuel Outlines for Contracts
as "detriment to promisee bargained for", which certainly is nothing
which author of free software receives.
2) Contracts are not different from other promises, actually the
textbook (Dawson's one) has the particular section named "Grounds
of enforcing promises". That is the exactly reason, why GNU/GPL
states in section five:
You are not required to accept this License, since you have
not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission
to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works.
These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept
this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the
Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate
your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms
and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the
Program or works based on it.
This seems to indicate other kind of acceptance of contract, which is
based on promissory interests (am I true? correct me somebody,
please). Restatement of Contracts 2nd (which is not law, just
recollection of valid US. cases made by the best american legal
scholars in 60s) says in §90, that:
(1) A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to
induce action or fobearance on the of the promisee ort a
third person and which does induce such action or fobearance
is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement
of the promise. The remedy granted for breach may be limited
as justice requires.
(2) A charitable subscription or a marriage settlement is
binding under Subsection (1) without proof that the promise
induced action or fobearance.
I cannot explain whole depths of these two paragraphs (only
exaplanation of the last sentence in the first one took my teacher
two classes), but it gives you some hints, I hope. Also I would love if
some real American lawyer could comments on this message (I am
not, although I have studied some courses on University of San
Francisco for one year). So, this is certainly not a legal advice, BTW.
Concerning the difference between contract and licence, I am not
sure, that free licences are really _just unilateral consents_ with the
use of a program. There are some requirements on the user --
especially, he has to release a work derivative on the original
program with sources if he releases it at all. Which is certainly a
some kind of promise by the user to be followed.
Have a nice day
P.S.: Concerning the interesting idea of
Jeffry_Smith@harvardpilgrim.org that author releases a free
software in order to get valuable comments and bug-fixes, I am not
sure what to tell. On the one hand it is really quite interesting idea.
However, I am not sure whether it is true in most cases (excpet
from small fraction of programs originally developed for inside use).