Re: EU antitrust is also cool
More serious and higher ranked folks have also spoken. Like Appellate
Judge (and etc.) Hoeren.
I am not a lawyer and I cannot comment on every objection. But there are
arguments that obviously seeems flawed and I am very suspicious for the
It is reproached that a German court apply German law (?!?). A Germanian
bring a lawsuit in Germany for infrigment of a license he have choosen.
It is obvious that German laws will apply. The fact that this license
were written in the U.S. and the history of the license is not really
relevant in this case.
It is reproached that the term "license" does not exists in the E.U. But
if a term in a contract is not exactly the perfect term or is even wrong
that does not mean that the contract as a whole is null. Especially that
the definition of a "license" is not really important to understand the GPL
The jugment speak of the possibility that there were no contract between
the parties and yes in this case there is copyright enfrigment.
Copyright law requires *explicit* permission to distribute copyrighted
materials; if you do not have the permission you have no right.
It would violate equity if you give the permission to distribute the
software but use invalide terms and then sue the people which have
respected what they believe they was right. But if you say that people
may not redistribute (as the GPL which say that you may not redistribute
if you do not provide source, etc...) even in invalide terms; it would
not amount to give an explicit permission to distribute (which is
As last I do not know exactly "German law" but in Belgium (which I think
is similar) you do not need to use "valid legal terms" for a contract to
be valid. The court usually interpret contract as "what a normally
educated people will understand". Exept a few technicalities (which are
of minor importance) the meaning of the GPL is perfectly understandable
by everybody. It seems to invalidate many of the objections made by