[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) [040612 04:55]:
> "Lex Spoon" <lex@cc.gatech.edu> writes:
> > Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS <edmundo@rano.org> wrote:
> >> With a contract that both parties have signed it's fairly easy to see
> >> that both parties have agreed to the choice of venue; with a public
> >> licence quite a lot of legal work has to be done in order to show that
> >> the licence has anything to do with the case. So I wonder whether such
> >> a clause in a public licence has any practical effect and if so, how.

> > Guys, I am no lawyer, but I think debian-legal is misusing the terms
> > "contract" and "license".  A license text is simply a proposed contract,
> 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.

Well, it really depends on the legal system you are in. What you told
seems to be true for the US. However, for example in Germany (and in
the other countries using Roman Right) of course the GPL and the MPL
are contracts. No doubt about that. As even a absolute gift is a
contract, of course a free license is a contract.

> > and a license is what you obtain after you agree to follow a license
> > text.  Yes, there is a big issue in deciding whether or not someone has
> > accepted a license, but once that much is established, both parties are
> > bound to the agreement precisely as under contract law.

> Not true at all.  The GPL, for example, is not a valid contract.
> Neither is the MIT/X11 license.

Please abstract from your own legal system. In some legal systems, the
GPL or the MIT/X11 license is a contract, in others not.

> > 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.

Well, handing a sandwich means agreement that you want to give and I
want to receive the sandwich, and this forms a valid contract here.
(More technically, such a contract is void if it is not drawn up
before a notary; however, this voidness goes away if I really receive
the sandwich.)

   PGP 1024/89FB5CE5  DC F1 85 6D A6 45 9C 0F  3B BE F1 D0 C5 D1 D9 0C

Reply to: