Re: copyright law wackyness
Chris Harshman <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> On Dec 22, 2011, at 10:33 PM, Paul Wise <email@example.com> 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?
Under most definitions of contract, a contract entails an explicit
agreement between the parties.
A unilateral license, where one party (the recipient) is granted
something without having to do anything, is thereby not an agreement.
You don't have to agree to the party licensing a work to you under the
Expat (for example) license terms; but you have the license in that work
The grant of license on the work when you receive it doesn't restrict
you in any way. It relaxes, in a special case – that work, with those
license terms, from that copyright holder, to you as recipient – the
default restrictions of copyright law.
So the license creates no obligation on the recipient, and it applies
whether or not the recipient agrees. Hence it's not a contract by most
\ “He who allows oppression, shares the crime.” —Erasmus Darwin, |
`\ grandfather of Charles Darwin |