get ready

Paul Nathan Puri publisher at
Thu Apr 15 06:23:32 UTC 1999

 I have stated before in my comments on the debian-legal at
 that the 1-size fits all nature of the GPL makes it so that a court would
 not be able to enforce what the law requires it enforce, the specific
 intent of the licensor.  
 The GPL is not like a law such that courts 'must' enforce it and the
 intent of the writer (i.e., legislature).  It is more like a contract in
 which the contract is evidence of the authors intent (the intent to limit
 the use of the software).
 The area where courts are left open to interpret on their own is where the
 GPL utilizes terms of art in specific legal fields (i.e., copyright).  A
 licensor is free to re-define words at will.  Where the author fails to do
 so, the court must determine if the author meant the traditional legal
 definition or some other.  Here is where danger lurks.
 If the court assumes a definition the auther did not intend, then an
 undesireable outcome could come about.  The court must take into
 consideration what one could believe a term to mean, what the author could
 have meant, and the traditional legal definition.  You begin to see what
 my fear is...
 Certified Law Student
 & Debian GNU/Linux Monk
 McGeorge School of Law
 publisher at
> On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, Jacques Vidrine wrote:
> > On 14 April 1999 at 23:19, "R. L. Kleeberger" <rlk at> wrote:
> > > Thanks for clearing this up.  I was not sure if you could modify the
> > > GPL and make your own license with it or not.
> > > 
> > > Since this is the case, would the GPL be a good framework license?  
> > 
> > I doubt that you'd be able to come up with a ``one size almost fits
> > all'' license.
> > 
> > I think GPL is one extreme in which many organizations may be
> > interested.
> > 
> > I think that a BSD/X/Apache style license is another with which even
> > more organizations could be comfortable.
> > 
> > I think it would be great if OSI could endorse a license of each of
> > these types to hold up as examples, and for organizations to adopt.
> > 
> > Jacques Vidrine / n at / nectar at
> > 

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