The IBM Public License

Rick Moen rick at
Mon Aug 16 18:33:24 UTC 2004

Quoting dlw (danw6144 at

[much snipped]
> Any open source license that does not preserve this identity for
> privity of contract purposes would be unenforcable under contract law
> after first distribution. A legal party identity requirement such as
> this might have saved the GPL , although enforcement would vary under
> differing state law requirements. (The IBM license stipulates New York
> State).
> In SCO v. IBM, IBM attempts to save the GPL's lack of privity by calling
> it a "conscious public covenant" or "public trust" because legal trusts
> do not require privity:

Same answer as before, Daniel:  GPL is simply not a contract.  Among
other things one might notice:

   The "Program", below, refers to any such program or work, and a 
   "work based on the Program" means either the Program or any 
   derivative work under copyright law:

Therefore, to object that it lacks necessary contractual element [foo] 
is to fundamentally miss the point.

Give it up, already.

Cheers,                   The cynics among us might say:   "We laugh, 
Rick Moen                 monkeyboys -- Linux IS the mainstream UNIX now!
rick at       MuaHaHaHa!" but that would be rude. -- Jim Dennis

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