why is taking open-source code closed expensive?

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sat Jul 7 17:15:56 UTC 2007

Joseph Hick scripsit:

> if we are not sure that licenses like GPL v3 are
> enforceable under law then how do so many programmers
> take the risk of releasing their project under GPL
> v3.? :-O

In the specific case of the GPL (any version), if you find
yourself being sued for infringement by the copyright holder,
the last thing you want to do in court (as opposed to in
the court of public opinion) is to attack the validity of the
GPL, for without the GPL you have no copyright-related rights
over the software at all.  No, you want to claim that you
innocently or unknowingly infringed, or that your behavior
is licit under the GPL after all, even though the copyright
owner claims it's not.

I am not a lawyer; this is not legal advice.

John Cowan  cowan at ccil.org  http://ccil.org/~cowan
Linguistics is arguably the most hotly contested property in the academic
realm. It is soaked with the blood of poets, theologians, philosophers,
philologists, psychologists, biologists and neurologists, along with
whatever blood can be got out of grammarians. - Russ Rymer

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