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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:

> How isn't it?  The above statement in writing is no different in meaning
> or intent from saying "no thanks" when the person handing you a binary
> of GCC also offers you the source code.  It's just a lot more
> formalized.

Courts are more than able to distinguish between:

John offers Peter something, and Peter says "no thanks".

John pretends to offer Peter something, and Peter has to say "no thanks",
  or else John won't do some nice thing for Peter.

It's not a "bright line" test, but it doesn't need to be.  Few things
in law are.  You look at whether John's offer was genuine.  You look
whether Peter had a plausible independent motivation for saying "no
thanks".  You look at what Peter says after the fact.  There are all
kinds of things here; all of which can provide evidence for the nature
of the transaction. 

If John says:

"I will give you this GPLd program only on condition that you say you
don't need the source", then we will look at what Peter does when he
says "ok, I don't need the source"--then that's not OK.

But if Peter were going to refuse the source regardless; if Peter
already has the source or knows how to get it; then we are likely to
think that John was not in fact creating a condition.  

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