[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GPL software on a webserver - "released" or not?

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: GPL software on a webserver - "released" or not?
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 08:26:09 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

John Geddes wrote:
I have looke hard, but failed to find any resource that clearly
explains the implications of the GPL for a hosted web service. Can
anyone help?

In US jurisdictions simply ignore sec. 2(b) of the GPL:

"2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
parties under the terms of this License."

This sec. 2(b) covenant causes the GPL to fall into a category of contracts known as "voidable" because sec. 2(b) is unenforceable under contract law and preempted by 17 USC sec. 301.

No US federal court has ever ruled the GPL enforceable. If someone
should sue you for violation of sec. 2(b), simply threaten to file a motion to dismiss under FRCP 12 and you will immediately receive a voluntary dismissal by the plaintiff(s). Every closed federal suit ever filed over violation of sec. 2(b) has been terminated through voluntary dismissal under FRCP 41.

Rjack :)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]