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Re: IMAPD license problem

On Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 12:06:27PM -0600, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     However, since the language of this license appears to have been borrowed
>     from the original MIT/X Consortium license, perhaps the people who wrote it
>     could be tracked down to offer their opinion.
> We got lots of people on record saying they believe this license means
> what we always thought it means.  That is part of why our lawyer says
> we would have a good chance to win a lawsuit.  But a good chance doesn't
> equal a victory in the pocket.

Under a provision of contract law valid at least within the US, that's not
quite true.  If the clause is ambiguous, any reasonable meaning you as
licensee may derive (of course a court will determine whether or not the
language COULD be construed that way) is valid.  That's certainly no
guarantee, but it's about as close as you're ever going to get with
anything if someone starts talking lawsuits.

Of course the best solution is to tell them where they can take their
license and the software under it. They won't of course because the
requisite location is currently occupied with their heads which are so
very thick I'm afraid there just isn't room for any more stupidity.

> She is not, but the U of W lawyers took the same position on this
> issue with respect to PINE.
> I appreciate that you would like to find a simple reason to dismiss
> the issue, but we already looked long and hard.  There isn't one.

Dismiss it?  No, no real easy way to do that.  You'd have to call their
bluff and risk the lawsuit to do that.  To be frank (well, in order to be
Frank I couldn't be Joseph could I?), pine just isn't worth it.  And
regardless, if they do not wish Debian to distribute imapd, we should do
them the courtesy of accepting that and finding other software.

In the case of UW mail agents, we certainly do not need them.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>               GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/)         20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/)   44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3

"I wonder if this is the first constitution in the history of mankind
where you have to calculate a square root to determine if a motion
passes.  :-)"
        -- Seen on Slashdot

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