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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:43:34 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

Hyman Rosen wrote:
amicus_curious wrote:
But if there ever were anything like that, it is not so clear that Party B is harmed. If Party B has no expectation of any gain financially, then there can be no harm if he doesn't get any.

Not true, as the model railroad appeals court determined. Harm does not
have to be financial. The FSF believes that users are harmed when they
are not given the four freedoms or not informed of their rights to have
them. As copyright holders, they can act to prevent this harm when their
copyrights are violated.

Sigh... Will you never understand that if "users are harmed when
they are not given the four freedoms" then it  is the *users* who
must file suit because of *their* damages? The contributors of the
GPL'd code have no legal standing to enforce the rights of third
party *users*:

"A plaintiff must point to some type of cognizable harm, whether
such harm is physical, economic, reputational, contractual, or even
aesthetic. . . But the injury in fact test requires more than an
injury to a cognizable interest. It requires that the party seeking
review be himself among the injured.” Koziara v. City of
Casselberry, 392 F.3d 1302 (11th Cir. 2004)

The GPL promises no benefit to an original contributor of GPL'd code
nor does a modifying author receive any benefit. The benefits
promised in the GPL license are directed to a large class of
citizens identified as *all third parties*.


Why is this fact so hard to grasp? Listen to the Supreme Court:

"Apart from this minimum constitutional mandate, this Court has
recognized other limits on the class of persons who may invoke the
courts' decisional and remedial powers. First, the Court has held
that when the asserted harm is a "generalized grievance" shared in
substantially equal measure by all or a large class of citizens,
that harm alone normally does not warrant exercise of jurisdiction.
Second, even when the plaintiff has alleged injury sufficient to
meet the "case or controversy" requirement, this Court has held that
the plaintiff generally must assert his own legal rights and
interests, and cannot rest his claim to relief on the legal rights
or interests of third parties." Warth v. Seldin 422 U.S. 490 (1975)

Rjack :)

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