[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Draft Summary: MPL is not DFSG free

Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> You are exceptionally confused.  A contract is a legal agreement, with
> specific requirements -- typically agreement, compensation, and a few
> less famous ones.
> A license is a grant of permission.  Much like a title or deed, a
> license may be exchanged as part of a contract -- I'll give you a
> license to edit this message for a million bucks --- or it can just be
> granted.


> Almost all free licenses are not contracts.  I cannot think of any
> Free license which *is* a contract, but there might, I suppose, be one
> out there.  Given American law requires an exchange, I can't see how.

What do you mean?  In order to gain the licenses GPL grants you, you
must comply with all of the terms.  Some of those terms require that you
perform in some way, e.g. by distributing source code.  I am not a legal
expert, but GPL has all of the earmarks of a contract.  It is a written
document, it requires agreement by both parties to be binding, it grants
something (a license), and it puts requirements on one of the parties
("You") to perform actions in exchange for the granted item.

I'm sure you are getting at something important, but talking about
contracts versus non-contracts doesn't seem to be exactly the dividing
line you are trying to specify.

> > Heck, you can mail RMS your signed agreement to follow GPL in your usage
> > of gcc, if you want.  The presence of such a signature would not make
> > GPL stop being a license nor start being a contract.
> Indeed, they aren't contracts.  Agreement is no more necessary to them
> than if I were to hand you a sandwich.

Agreement is necessary for you to gain the grant(s). Interestingly,
GPL states this explicitly, even though it doesn't need to:

"You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed
it. [...] 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 [...]"


Reply to: