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Re: GPLed Software Expiration Date

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: GPLed Software Expiration Date
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 18:06:53 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Rui writes:
> For those who might be curious as to why such statement is a lie, the
> keyword here is "irrevocable".

> 17 USC ยง 203(a)(3) does indeed talk about termination of a grant after
> yers when there's the right of publication (like in the GPL) BUT in this
> case it is an *irrevocable* grant.

> Being irrevocable, means it doesn't have an expiry period.

> Please also notice that there's nothing related to irrevocable being
> actually not irrevocable at said reference, which reinforces rjack's
> lie:
> ...

I'm not convinced that termination does not apply to the GPL, but I don't
think it matters for the following reasons:

1) 35 years is a long time for software.  It's unlikely that anyone would

2) Termination requires that written notice be delivered to every license
holder not less than two nor more than ten years before the termination
date.  If the software is of any interest at all there will be thousands of
license holders, each with permission to distribute under the terms of the
GPL and few if any known to the copyright owner.  Miss just one and you've
wasted your time.

3) If the software is of any interest at all someone just received his
license last year and you have to wait at least 34 years before terminating
his license.  In the meantime he will have redistributed to others and you
will have to wait 35 years after each of them publishes before terminating
each of those licenses (remember, each recipient receives a license from
the original copyright owner).
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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