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Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2008 01:38:50 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"amicus_curious" <> writes:

> "David Kastrup" <> wrote:
>> The GPL is not a contract but a license.  It spells the conditions
>> you have to meet.
> I am not aware of any real distinction in the law based on the use of
> the two terms,

You can't state contractual penalties in a license short of withdrawal
of the license.  In contrast, you can state penalties for non-compliance
in a contract.  That is a very real distinction.

>>> In the case of the GPL, it is not so clear.  If it is the same
>>> thing, as you say, the suit would be for the damage caused to the
>>> original author due to the violator not publishing the source code.
>> Uh no.  Damages are in addition to coming into compliance.
> I would rather think that they were the direct consequence of not
> coming into compliance.

No, you are confusing penalties (which are a direct consequence, but not
applicable to licenses) with damages (which have to be assessed on a
case by case basis and just recompensate the damaged party for the
actually suffered and documented harm).

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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