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Re: New license for UW-IMAP

Branden Robinson wrote:

> [1] Sadly, in the United States, there is a legislative trend towards
> binding people to contracts they've never seen or agreed to.  This,
> however, is a problem with a much larger penumbra than ordinary copyright
> licensing.  The law of the land always trumps a license.  The GPL could be
> rendered invalid by an act of Congress tomorrow; that doesn't mean we don't
> continue to treat it as effective today.

IMHO, the principles of free software embodied in the GPL transcend any
legislative enactment.  It is quite accurate that the Congress could declare GPL
invalid, but this is true only in the same sense as they could declare the
abolition of gravity.  Those who are morally bound by the principles will continue
to uphold them, those who are without ethical consideration will ignore them as
they presumably do now.  I don't think it can be seriously doubted that some
proprietary software is released now containing free software code, although if
discovered it would presumably be actionable in court.  All the Congress can do is
make it no longer cognizable in the courts, and in return we may cease to
recognize the authority and legitimacy of said courts.  Then it's simply a matter
of the greater bully principle.

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