conducting a sane and efficient GPLv3, LGPLv3 Review

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Aug 2 16:37:27 UTC 2007

Walter van Holst scripsit:

> > 2) Perhaps the "pure" GPL is preempted under 17 USC sec. 301.
> I can't answer that since I hardly know anything about US Law, but I
> am pretty certain others will fill in pretty soon.

I have no clue what the point of this reference is.  Section 301 says
that the Copyright Act preempts state copyright law.

> Why should they? It works in practice, why bother having court cases
> for something that has worked fine for over a decade now? Disputes about
> the GPL tend to be settled out of court, keep that in mind. Apparantly
> all lawyers involved in every case did not expect to have a strong case
> in court. Court cases usually are about unclear situations, they tend
> not to have a very evident solution. The vast majority of GPL cases
> so fare were clearly evident enough that the infringing party didn't
> dare to go to court, despite the vagueness of the GPL's wording.

Indeed.  Furthermore, as has been pointed out many times, it is suicidal
for a defendant to directly attack the GPL's validity, as without the
public license they would be exposed to the full rigor of copyright

John Cowan  cowan at
If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing
on my shoulders.
        --Hal Abelson

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