(OT) - NOT A Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Fri Feb 8 15:42:20 UTC 2008

Alexander Terekhov writes:
 > The terms of the license do impose certain covenants which are NOT
 > conditions (precedent). Translation: events "which must take place
 > before a party to a contract must perform or do their part"
 > (conditions precedent).  One just can't turn covenants into
 > conditions. Got it now?

Agreed, but if something isn't a covenant in the first place, then it
*can* be a condition.  A covenant is a solemn promise.  The judge
construed this agreement to license all copyright rights, with
covenants concerning distribution.  Translation: the Defendant got a
license to do anything he wants, and he promised to make only certain

A correct interpretation would have said that the license to use is
unconditional, but the license to redistribution is conditioned on the
attributes of the work being distributed.  For example, one set of
conditions applies to verbatim distribution.  A different set of
conditions applies to modified distributions.  Translation: each
redistribution is separately licensed.

Basically, the judge wanted to rule against Jacobsen, so he did.

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