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Re: GPL v3 Draft

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
On 2/15/06, Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:

On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 10:26:10AM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:

On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:47:32PM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:

On 2/14/06, John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org> wrote:

On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:01:05PM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:

But we all know that the GPL is a license-not-a-contract, and so UCC
and related case law simply doesn't apply.

Do we?  I thought that a license was a contract.

Everyone who is neither blind nor an idiot knows for certain that the
GPL is a *LICENSE NOT A CONTRACT* -- Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen
have clarified that fact at least a hundred times.

What purpose do you feel calling a person "blind" or an "idiot" serves?
I don't think you are contributing anything to this discussion.

He's not.  Would you please killfile him so that we can get on with life? :)

Oh c'mon, I try all my best.


This would not be a presentation about the GPL by me if emphasis was
not placed on what you see before you now. This license is

"Not a Contract.

You are not required to accept this License in order to receive a copy
of the Program."

We have not argued now, nor will we, nor can anyone argue, who reads
the text of the language, that the receipt of the code is some
quid-pro-quo for the acceptance of some terms. If you are existing in
a legal system in which that wasn't what made it a contract, then
...go with God, but arguments based on the contractual exchange of the
code for promises of compliance have nothing to do with us. We give
permissions here and the enforcement weight of our license lies in the
fact that you have no permission to propagate, that is, you have no
permission to do what copyright law requires permission to do, but
through this license. That's our legal theory and we are sticking to

Oh just love it. Moglen comedian. Brilliant one.

This theory make sense. Copyright law requires that you must have an explicit permission to copy/modify, etc... the software. The GPL give you this permission on certain conditions. If someone does not respect the GPL, he will not be sued for having breaking the contract, he will be sued because he distribute/modify a software without the explicit permission required by copyright law.

I do not see why you object to this theory. GPL give more permission than copyright law: if you think that it does not give enough permission for you, then what you must attack is copyright law. I cannot understand the theory (which apparently you defend) that because you do like the GPL or because you do not agree to it; you would have the right to do whatever you want with a GPL software.

The only problem is that if you find a way to not respect the GPL by doing something not forbidden by copyright law. But the GPL is made that there is no such situation (exept maybe in some very marginal cases).


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