Wired Article on the GPL

Ken Arromdee arromdee at rahul.net
Thu Mar 30 21:23:33 UTC 2000

On Thu, 30 Mar 2000, Chip Salzenberg wrote:
> > A license that isn't a contract (a bare permission) can be freely
> > revoked by the licensor, as in an invitation to enter onto land: if
> > the landowner changes his mind, the licensee instantly becomes a
> > trespasser.
> I never thought I'd say this, but:  'Only UCITA can save us now.'

IANAL, but there's always the possibility of a court ruling that recipients of
GPL software are providing consideration, so it's a contract.  If you
distribute a binary, the consideration might be that you distribute the
source.  Putting one's own code under GPL if linked with GPL might also be
consideration--I don't think consideration has to directly benefit the
original copyright owner to count as consideration.

The FSF really should get involved in this, because the implications of this
question are obviously pretty big.

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