[License-discuss] GPL and proprietary WebAPIs

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Fri Dec 23 18:08:03 UTC 2011

Chad Perrin wrote:
> Take the most restrictive reasonable interpretation of both if you want
> to play it safe.

That's true as far as it goes but leaves out the fun part of the analysis.
The evaluation of risk -- particularly legal risk -- involves the analysis
of many factors. Sometimes "the most restrictive reasonable interpretation"
is way beyond what actual risks exists: Who will have standing to sue? What
are potential damages? Is an injunction likely? Can I easily design-around
or re-implement? What is the timeframe of the risk? And with regard to this
irrational fear of the reach of the GPL regarding functional linking that is
but one minor factor in a complex derivative work analysis, what is the risk
that some court will force me to disclose my *copyright-independent* crown
jewel proprietary stuff or give away my patents?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org [mailto:license-discuss-
> bounces at opensource.org] On Behalf Of Chad Perrin
> Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 9:49 AM
> To: license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: Re: [License-discuss] GPL and proprietary WebAPIs
> On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 03:38:04AM -0800, Chris Travers wrote:
> >
> > Thus in general I think one is generally better off talking with
> > upstream projects and trying to get them on board.
> Take the most restrictive reasonable interpretation of both if you want
> to play it safe.  After all, a change in the upstream project's
> maintainership could get you in a lot of trouble if you rely entirely
> on
> the legally non-binding word of a project maintainer.
> --
> Chad Perrin
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