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Re: Fwd: figlet license change from Artistic to Clarified Artistic or Artistic 2.0?

Glenn Maynard scripsit:

> You were previously talking about "contradicting the AFL", though.  Are
> there actually any cases of this, or is it a practically null set?

Well, I can invent really stoopid licenses that do it, like this:
Alice licenses Yoyo under the AFL; Bob adds his changes, and licenses
it under a license that says "If anything goes wrong or you lose money
with this code, you must sue Alice and not me."  But absent that sort of
nonsense, I think the set is practically null.

> This isn't the same as you claiming you'll give me something, not doing
> so and me suing for it; there's nothing I need to enforce, you're just
> giving up your right for me to not distribute your work.  It's you (the
> licensor) that's doing the enforcing, here: you've granted me permission
> to do something normally prohibited by copyright law.

Sorry, I don't follow this.  How is enforcement involved here?

> Turn it around: what is there about your license that might make it
> revocable?  Is there anything in the law that suggests this, that one
> could point the FSF at: "this looks like a problem; is it?"  Given the
> vague "this might be a problem, but I don't really know", it's hard to
> even formulate a decent question.  (If we had one, we could try asking
> the FSF--asking Eben Moglen directly isn't the right thing to do,
> anyway--but this is still so vague I wouldn't know what to ask.)

The AFL can't be revocable at will because it's a binding contract.
It binds both sides, technically, but only the licensor has made any

The GPL isn't a contract, everyone agrees on that.  So how can the
licensor be bound by it?  If EvilCo buys the copyright of Alice's
GPLed Hummity software, they can announce "No more GPL on Hummity" and then
sue, say, Bob, who has copied, distributed, or modified after
hearing (actually or constructively) about the announcement.

What possible legal theory does Bob have to defend himself from
the charge of infringement?  I sure don't see any.

John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
O beautiful for patriot's dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!
America! America!  God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!
        -- one of the verses not usually taught in U.S. schools

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