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

Re: Draft Summary: MPL is not DFSG free

Lex Spoon wrote:

> Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> 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.

Actually, as far as I can tell, they don't.  They grant permission to do
specific things which you otherwise have no permission to do (such as
distributing source code).  Interestingly, every restriction in the GPL I
could find is merely a restriction on what activities it permits you to do;
they do not restrict your outside activities.  If you accept the license,
the things you are then permitted to do are a *strict superset* of the
things you were permitted to do before.

It restricts redistribution.  Without the license, you have no permission to
distribute at all.  It restricts creation of derivative works.  Without the
license, you have no permission to create any.  And their distribution. 
Without the license, you have no permission to distribute any.

(There might be a different situation if you already had the GPL-licensed
work under a *different* license which granted different permissions,
neither a superset nor a subset of the GPL permission; the interaction
might be tricky to work out and might mean that the GPL required you to
give up some of the other permissions, though I doubt it.)


> 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 [...]"

Yeah, that's contract-like language, true.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Reply to: