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Re: Combining proprietary code and GPL for in-house use

On 27 Jun 2001, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:

>John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu> writes:
>> So now this is a RICO case?!  Complex acts usually involve Enterprise
>> corruption, which again has a different standard of proof.  Unless you can
>> prove bad acts by all in the chain, forget a civil action on this one...
>I didn't say anything about enterprise corruption.  are you
>constitutionally unable to focus on single cases?

No, but you used language that only occurs in such cases (actually no, it
also occurs in most conspiracy theories, but the GPL is used IN quite a
few conspiracy theories) ((note: it's a plausible parallel: for what is
enterprise corruption but a conspiracy theory that's proven right?))

>> So?  This is civil stuff again: IT'S ALL LEGAL!  It's just is it damaging?
>> And the answer here is no, because the only way that this chain may be
>> broken into illegal acts is to revoke someone's fair use right, which
>> isn't an option.
>Violations of civil law are *illegal*, even if not criminal.

No.  Just no.  Violations of civil law aren't PROHIBITED.

>dict illegal
1 definition found

>From WordNet (r) 1.6 [wn]:

	adj. :  prohibited by law or accepted rules; "an illegal chess
		move" [ant: {legal}]

Just because there's a penalty involved in doing something does not mean
that it's prohibited.  Let's use guns: there's a huge-assed tax for
ownership of an automatic weapon, but the Congress doesn't have the right
to actually prohibit them via the 2nd amendment to the Constitution, so
they imposed a punitive tax on their ownership (it's actually a Class 3
license, which is taken care by the BATF sorta like a FFL) .  This has
been tested in the supreme court all of once, and the defendant failed to
show, so the jury's still out as to the clear legality of this...

>"criminal" is a subset of "illegal".


>> It is an example of requesting that the end-user legally obtain
>> something that the upstream may not ethically provide.
>It depends entirely on what the case is.

Yeah, the Clinton Gambit: "I think we're not too clear on the definition
of ''it''"...   Where did the general case creep in that there's ambiguity
as to what case we're talking about?!

>> Sort of like...say...realplayer.deb.
>If the realplayer people objected to realplayer.deb, it might well be
>illegal.  But they don't object...

Where does an objection change the legality of an issue?  I object to
paying my taxes, but failing to pay them is illegal all the same.

>> It was probably the intent of the GPL implementors to prevent such a
>> happening, but the language allows it, probably because they are
>> already pushing the acceptable limitations of fair use.
>Blah, blah, blah.

Why don't you just decode this part to "I can't refute it" and save us
both the trouble?

>You really don't understand the case, especially given phrases like
>"GPL implementors".  What, precisely, is a GPL implementor?

Writers and users.  I used implementors because user is ambiguous in this
case: because it isn't users of the GPL'd programs, it's everybody other
than the FSF that licenses things under the GPL.  They really don't have
much say in the language of the GPL (other than the boolean use or not
use), because of that nice little preamble that doesn't allow changing of
it, so they really aren't to blame when it fails to say what they mean
other than the blame associated with using it blindly in the first place.
Of course, a dictionary might help, since most of them pretty much say
that implement is a synonym of use so it should be non-complex to figure
out that I was trying to use an unambiguous yet similar term to "use".

There is an old saying that if a million monkeys typed on a million
keyboards for a million years, eventually all the works of Shakespeare
would be produced.   Now, thanks to Usenet, we know this is not true.

Who is John Galt?  galt@inconnu.isu.edu, that's who!

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