(OT) - Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Chris Travers chris at metatrontech.com
Mon Aug 27 23:33:06 UTC 2007

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> On 8/27/07, Chris Travers <chris at metatrontech.com> wrote:
>> Ok, this is going from slightly off-topic into a very obscure legal
>> discussion among mostly non-Lawyers (IANAL).
>> The Artistic License is clearly distinguishable from the De Forest Radio
>> Telephone vs. United States case for the following reason important
>> reason: in De Forest, a contract existed which included an exchange of
>> $1 for certain patent rights.
> Don't confuse it with license to the United States government. It was
> granted by conduct and without monetary exchange.
Yes, monetary exchange was involved.  As a part of the AT&T contract, 
AT&T was allowed to manufacture goods for the government (essentially a 
limited sublicense).  The US Government was in essence a third party 
beneficiary of the contract.  Furthermore the sublicensor (AT&T) agreed 
to waive the right to injunctive relief during the war on the basis that 
the government agreed to settle up later for monetary damages.

However, this has *nothing* to do with copyleft theory.  I would argue 
that the GPL *does* have an exchange in consideration, and it *is* 
bilateral (as evidenced by the idea that releasing the code under the 
GPL would somehow be an appropriate remedy).  So at any rate, De Forest 
would better be applied to a GPL case than to an Artistic License case.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
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