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Re: More FSF hypocrisy


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: More FSF hypocrisy
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 08:39:22 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <address@hidden> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>>>> In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <address@hidden> wrote:


>>>> That's a very strange statement.  The GPL is not so designed;
>>>>  it is designed to "waive particular rights" over any who 
>>>> conform to its requirements, regardless of the contractual 
>>>> privy.  It is thus not a contractual license, since there are
>>>>  no contractual negotiations or handshakes involved.

>> ....  But I wasn't talking about the US courts' 
>> possible application of Humpty Dumpty language.  I really don't 
>> much care about whether the GPL is a "contract" in some US 
>> American jurisdiction.

> I really don't much care about whether the GPL is a "contract" in
> some non US American jurisdiction.

Neither do I.

> I am not familiar with the law of non US American jurisdictions. Where
> of one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Perhaps you should
> adopt that philosophy.

Not at all!  Far better to ask question and further educate oneself, so
that in the future one can speak thereof.

>> I'm saying that for all reasonable values of the term "contract",
>>  the GPL fails to be one - it lacks all the characteristics of a 
>> contractual relationship, for instance, the meeting of minds, the
>>  negotiation, the passing of something of value in both 
>> directions, the definite "handshake" which finalises it.

> Where did you ever get such misinformed notions?

Through being a highly educated native English speaker.  I looked it up
in a dictionary, too.  "Contract" (noun) means agreement (when it doesn't
mean "get smaller", or the like).  I suspect that the GPL isn't a
contract in any USA jurisdiction, rather that it is for certain purposes
subject to some of the same regulations.


>>>> By your statement, are you trying to show that the GPL isn't
>>>>  really a copyright license, or are you making a historical 
>>>> assertion, that this was the motivation of the original 
>>>> license designers?

>> No, I'm asking you what you meant by your paragraph, the one that
>>  ends with "privity".

> Why would you ask such a question after expressing, "But I wasn't
> talking about the US courts' possible application of Humpty Dumpty
> language"?

Actually, I asked it beforehand, but seeing as how the subjects are
unrelated, the order doesn't matter.

>> I'm genuinely puzzled as to what you're trying to say. Care to 
>> elucidate?

> I am genuinely puzzled as to what you are asking.

OK.  Here's you're paragraph again:

: Copyright licenses are designed to waive particular rights 
: to exclude so that licensees may use those personam rights 
: granted by the copyright owner in contractual privity.

You might have meant this as a definitional criterion for a copyright
license, asserting that the GPL, since it doesn't satisfy that criterion,
isn't a copyright license at all.  (The bit of the condition it doesn't
satisfy is the "in contractual privity").

Alternatively, you might have been talking about why, historically,
copyright licenses arose - that sometime after Gutenberg invented the
press and copyright came into being, somebody spotted a problem, and the
copyright license was designed as a solution to that problem.

I'm asking you which of these interpretations you meant when you
wrote the paragraph, or if neither, what you did mean.

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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