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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 11:11:18 -0600
User-agent: slrn/ (Debian)

On 2009-01-30, ZnU <znu@fake.invalid> wrote:
> In article <85bptp20ty.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> wrote:
>> ZnU <znu@fake.invalid> writes:
>> > In article <8563jzm30h.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Uh no.  If a provision of the kind "you may freely redistribute if 
>> >> you heed the following conditions" is not legally valid, and you have 
>> >> no other right to freely redistribute without that provision (and 
>> >> copyright law does not give you such a right), then you may not 
>> >> freely redistribute, period. So there is no defendant with a 
>> >> substantial interest in such a finding.
>> >> 
>> >> Defendant has nothing to gain by asking the court to decide that his 
>> >> conditional permission is not legally valid.
>> >
>> > This argument would be persuasive if judges were the legal equivalent
>> > of strictly-validating XML parsers, required to reject entire
>> > documents if portions of them were invalid). But this is not, in fact,
>> > the case.
>> >
>> > While I don't consider this outcome particularly likely, there is
>> > absolutely no reason why a judge couldn't, in principle, find that GPL
>> > validly granted permission to redistribute, but that (say) the
>> > provision requiring code disclosure for derivative works was invalid.
>> We are not talking about a two-sided contract with an exchange of
>> consideration, but a unilateral grant.  The recipient is free to take it
>> or leave it.  There is no prejudice to him if he can't meet some terms
>> and consequently has no rights to make use of the grant.
>> >> The GPL is not a shrink-wrap contract like the EULAs.  Acceptance of
>> >> the GPL is optional for default software use.
>> >
>> > And whether this matters with respect to its legal enforcability is one 
>> > of many unaswered questions about EULAs.
>> No concern of the GPL.
> My entire point is that there's essentially no case law on this issue. 
> What you're presenting in this post is your opinion, not established 
> legal fact.

    Sure there is. This is like Lemming arguments that Microsoft isn't
a monopoly because it doesn't meet their own naieve definition. They
choose to argue the situation simplemindedly.
    While the GPL itself hasn't been adjudicated on, the principles
upon which it is based have been. NO ONE with a stake in the situation
wants ownership rights in GPL software to be vacated. That would have
far reaching implications that the relevant vested interests don't
even want to contemplate.

    It's in no one's best intrests to have GPL works declared PD.

    So the license is either valid or everyone has to renegotiate
terms with the relevant authors in order to have any authorization
to use or modify anything.

    People with lots of expensive proprietary software are the 
last people that want to undermine even their enemy's copyrights.

NO! There are no CODICILES of Fight Club!                           |||
                                                                   / | \
That way leads to lawyers and business megacorps and credit cards!

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