conducting a sane and efficient GPLv3, LGPLv3 Review

Alexander Terekhov alexander.terekhov at
Thu Aug 2 13:10:32 UTC 2007

On 8/2/07, Arnoud Engelfriet <arnoud at> wrote:
> Walter van Holst wrote:
> > >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.
> >
> > At the end of the day the FSF's interpretation of the GPL doesn't matter
> > in court as much as the licensor's intention with using the GPL. I would
> > not be terribly surprised if a Dutch court would ignore Eben's
> > interpretation and go with the actual content of the GPL in a case where
> > the FSF is not the copyright holder of the software in question.
> I would not be surprised either. However I create a risk for my
> client if I do not go with the FSF's opinion.
> If case law shows the FSF is mistaken, then we can revise our
> policy to match the case law. I don't want to *be* the case law.

Could it be possible that FSF does *not* wish court scrutiny of the
"pure"*** GPL under copyright and contract law?

1) Perhaps the "pure" GPL is unenforcable under contract law.

2) Perhaps the "pure" GPL is preempted under 17 USC sec. 301.

3) Perhaps the "pure" GPL is a misuse of copyright.

One thing seems certain. FSF is obviously in no hurry to find out.

Three guarantees in life:

1) Death.

2) Taxes.

3) Pigs will fly before the Free Software Foundation ever files to
enforce the mighty "pure" GPL in court.

***) In Moglen's speak. Here's some detais:

LWN: So, if the kernel is covered solely by the GPL, you would see
proprietary modules as an infringement?

[Eben:] Yes. I think we would all accept that. I think that the degree
of interpenetration between kernel modules and the remainder of the
kernel is very great, I think it's clear that a kernel with some
modules loaded is a "a work" and because any module that is
dynamically loaded could be statically linked into the kernel, and
because I'm sure that the mere method of linkage is not what
determines what violates the GPL, I think it would be very clear
analytically that non-GPL loadable kernel modules would violate the
license if it's pure GPL.


"Eben's got more bullshit rap than Snoop Dogg. "

                                              -- day5done

More information about the License-discuss mailing list