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Re: copyright law wackyness



On Fri, 23 Dec 2011 08:21:35 -0800 Chris Harshman wrote:

> On Dec 22, 2011, at 10:33 PM, Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> wrote:
> > The other part is less clear to me and it refers to contracts rather
> > than licenses, but the document author seems to think it applies to
> > the GPL.
> 
> How is a license not a contract?

Please let's not re-open this can of worms!   ;-)

As far as I understand (from previous long discussions on this same
list), it all depends on the jurisdiction you are talking about.
Or, in other words, on the definition of the word "contract".

I seem to recall that, in some jurisdictions, a "contract" is defined
in such a way that a unilateral grant of permissions does not qualify.
In some other jurisdictions, a unilateral grant of permissions is
instead a special case of "contract".

Moreover, there's the open issue of whether Free Software licenses are
actually unilateral grants of permissions.
Some people think they are, some other people point to specific parts
(such as the disclaimers of warranty, if I recall correctly) of
well-known Free Software licenses, in order to prove that they in fact
ask for something in return for the granted permissions and are
therefore *not* (only) unilateral grants of permissions...


I think that, as far as the issue currently under discussion is
concerned, we should only try to understand what the Slovakian term
used in the Slovakian laws (and here translated into the English word
"contract") means in the Slovakian jurisdiction.

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