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

Glenn Maynard scripsit:

> If you can point to a US statute or case law echoing the above, or in
> some way suggesting that it's relevant to the US, then it might help
> give me the specific question for the FSF that I'm hunting for.

Well, Lynn v. Raney (1964 OK 212, 400 P.2d 805) is a real-property case, online at
and the memorandum opinion online at
http://www.ded.uscourts.gov/SLR/Opinions/May2001/00-1013.PDF is a
patent case.  Both tell us, as a matter of black-letter law, that a
bare license is revocable at the will of the licensor.  Outside these
two fields, bare licenses are rare, because most would-be licensees
use lawyers who are careful to make sure any bare licenses on offer are
matured into contracts which they can enforce.

> This isn't a problem that can be fixed with contracts, though--it can
> probably only be fixed by legislation.  (And as it's mostly a "might be
> a problem decades from now for code that's still around", I don't see
> much effort being put to that.)

It exists as a protection for licensors who have made bad bargains, typically
by accepting a contract of adhesion from a publisher.  The same effect was
achieved in pre-1976 law by copyright renewal, but now that that no longer
exists, the recapture-of-copyright provision was inserted into the law instead.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        jcowan@reutershealth.com
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There are
no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that
they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. --The Hobbit

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