How To Break The GPL
weng at yours.com
Sat Mar 4 18:29:17 UTC 2000
On Fri, 3 Mar 2000 17:44:09 -0500, Justin Wells <jread at semiotek.com> wrote:
> I don't think a court would have a hard time
Yes. There is much judicial discretion regarding consideration. The concept
has come under considerable academic attack, mainly because its flexibility
undermines commercial certainty.
>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.
It seems to me that the GPL is a license, because
(i) It expressly names itself a 'license'
(ii) Copyright remains vested in the original author.
However, it also seems to me there is some leeway for arguing that it is a
de facto grant, because if you look carefully at the acts protected by
copyright (ie. copying, adapting, display etc ), the GPL's 'viral'
obligation serves to go against this directly. Therefore, the GPL goes
BEYOND mere permission, but falls short of a grant/assignment.
Hence the suggestion that the GPL blurs the distinction between user and
>I think the GPL is a *license* and probably depends on there being
No. A license can exist independently of contract . Hence, consideration
is irrelevant, insofar as we deem the GPL to be non-contractual in nature.
 For scope of copyright protection see s.16 Copyright Designs and
Patents Act 1988 (UK)
 Lai, S. "The Copyright Protection of Computer Software in the United
Kingdom" (December 1999) Hart Pub; ISBN: 1841130877
More information about the License-discuss