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Re: Questions about legal theory behind (L)GPL

On Tue, Jan 18, 2005 at 05:54:40PM -0800, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> In this context, I mean "credible analysis of the legal issues".  Eben
> Moglen and Bruce Perens were both publicly quoted in the lead-in to
> the MySQL trial as being confident that MySQL would win a preliminary
> injuction on the GPL issues.  They didn't.  There were several reasons
> for this, which mostly add up to "the judge followed precedent in
> applying copyright law standards where they were appropriate and
> contract law standards where they were appropriate".  Neither the
> FSF's subsequent public comments nor the correspondence I have had
> with licensing@fsf.org addresses this point, nor do they seem to be
> willing to adduce any modern legal precedent in any jurisdiction.

>From my point of view, the brief was trying to estalish that the GPL
was protecting value in the case of mysql, and that violating the GPL
took away from that value.  But I think it wasn't really written for
the judge, but was instead written for someone who was already convinced.

> I am far from being the first to make this criticism.  See, for
> instance, the comments in
> http://www.oslawblog.com/2005/01/static-linking-gpl-and-lgpl.html by
> people who cite actual legal precedents.  The emperor is a decent guy
> and usually on the side of the angels, but I'm sorry to say that he
> has no clothes.

This is meta discussion about an oversimplification.  It's basically
correct, but I don't think the emperor is running around nude, even if
that hat is a bit skimpy.


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