conducting a sane and efficient GPLv3, LGPLv3 Review

Walter van Holst w.van.holst at
Thu Aug 2 11:48:25 UTC 2007

Van: Arnoud Engelfriet [arnoud at]
Verzonden: donderdag 2 augustus 2007 9:42
Aan: Lawrence Rosen
CC: 'License Discuss'
Onderwerp: Re: conducting a sane and efficient GPLv3, LGPLv3 Review

Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Quite frankly, I'd rather hear directly from other attorneys on this list
> rather than quote private conversations with LOTS of attorneys going back
> many years. ***Please don't be afraid to speak up.*** The worst that will
> happen is that you'll start another flame war with GPL zealots about how
> important it is for the FSF to protect GPL software and the "copyleft
> philosophy" from other software regardless of what the copyright law
> actually says. :-)

Personally I'm leaning towards your opinion. The problem is, I need
to ensure that my client (the company I work for) doesn't get into
problems if you and I are mistaken. So that's why in practice I go
with the FSF's opinion.

Worst case, we now open source some code without legally being
obliged to, or we needlessly purchase proprietary licenses.

The alternative is that we dynamically link with GPL code and
then find ourselves in a position where we are compelled to
publish code we consider proprietary under the GPL.

Here in Europe licenses like the GPL are contracts and
specific performance is a routine remedy for contract violations.
That makes Moglen's view at
"The claim that a GPL violation could lead to the forcing open of
proprietary code that has wrongfully included GPL'd components is simply
wrong. There is no provision in the Copyright Act to require
distribution of infringing work on altered terms."
inapplicable here. A Dutch court for example would construct GPL 3b
as a contractual obligation to publish derivative works as a whole
under GPL. We could be held to that obligation.

So, I agree with you but I do as Moglen says. :)


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:
              Arnoud blogt nu ook:

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