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Re: Fwd: Bug#278474: mimetex: licensing issue

Isaac Clerencia writes:

>       Returning to the gpl, the same 15-year-old could, for example,
> incorporate gpl'ed code into a proprietary product, and there'd be
> no legal recourse.  He could even sue the author of a gpl'ed
> program for damages if the program misbehaves.  The author would
> probably win, but couldn't just use the gpl to get the case dismissed.
> It seems to me that the gpl fails to adequately address this kind
> of loophole -- that is, in order to agree to the terms of the gpl
> you must first be a legally competent person.  Am I missing
> something here?  If so, I'd appreciate it if somebody could
> explain how the gpl works to preclude this kind of situation.
> If not, maybe the gpl needs a little paragraph, something like
> mine, to address the issue.

The missing part is that the GPL is not a contract.  Laws obviously
apply to minors even without contracts in place.  A minor can be
prosecuted for copyright infringement.  A properly barred lawyer would
be able to advise the upstream author (of the GPL'ed software, who
would be the plaintiff in such a lawsuit) whether to name the minor,
the minor's parents, or both, in a lawsuit.

Michael Poole

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