How To Break The GPL
jcowan at reutershealth.com
Fri Mar 3 23:30:56 UTC 2000
Justin Wells wrote:
> -- fame from becoming well known as the author of a free software work
> -- expectation that you will receive further copyrighted material in
> return, from someone who contributed to your project (this is
> explicitly mentioned as being of value in US title 17, the
> copyright act).
> -- the service of distributing your copyrighted work to other people
> for you so that they can provide one of the above
> -- personal satisfaction in knowing that others use your software
Yes, but you don't *get* those things as a direct consequence of
someone else downloading your software. Also, consideration can't
be immaterial: that's why contracts say "the sum of $1 and other
valuable considerations". The $1 makes it real.
> Also, is the GPL a copyright *grant* or a copyright *license*? A grant
> assigns ownership rights to other people. A license simply gives
> everyone some permission to use it.
> I think the GPL is a *license* and probably depends on there being
> some consideration.
In the technical terms of the Copyright Act, there are neither
grants nor licenses, but only copyright transfers, exclusive and
non-exclusive. Exclusive transfers are what we geeks would call
transfers (transferee gets all rights except those already granted
away, transferor keeps no rights). Non-exclusive transfers are
what we call licenses.
> I am not a lawyer, so take all this with a grain of salt.
Nor am I.
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)
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