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Re: Questions about legal theory behind (L)GPL

On Mon, Jan 17, 2005 at 05:04:02PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > I imagine that (where two copyright holders differ from one another in
> > > their interpretation) the judge would look at the history of how these two
> > > copyright holders have acted.  If one has recently changed their intent
> > > then the judge would need to consider their previously expressed intent.
> ...
> I'm thinking that there will typically have been a history of
> correspondence between the parties.  Most likely: an email archive,
> the changelog, release announcements, etc.
> And the basic question is: why was the material contributed in the
> first place?
> As a general rule, if someone had an objection to their content being
> distributed, they would speak up shortly after they find out about
> the issue.  If some extended period of time has passed (for example:
> the time between Debian Stable releases), there's a very real question
> as to why the issue wasn't raised earlier.

Well, by the nature of free software, I can incorporate code into my program from
yours (or into a friend's program, eg. writing a patch for lftp incorporating
code from wget), without you necessarily being made aware of it at all.
It's not hard for an original author to legitimately not become aware of
such reuse for a long time.  The "contributor" of code isn't necessarily
the copyright holder.

Glenn Maynard

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