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Re: More FSF hypocrisy


From: Keith Thompson
Subject: Re: More FSF hypocrisy
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 21:37:57 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.101 (Gnus v5.10.10) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Rjack <address@hidden> writes:
[...]
> Is the license:
>
> ******************** Open Source License ***************************
>
> You may copy, make derivative works, and distribute those works that
> are based on the covered source code provided that you first murder
> your mother.
>
> ********************************************************************
>
> enforceable? Of course not. It contains an illegal condition.

I am not a lawyer but I'm sure a license cannot require you to murder
your mother.  But one could interpret the above hypothetical license
as simply saying that you may not, under any (legal) circumstances,
copy, make derivative works, or distribute the specified works.

Consider a license that says:

    You may copy, make derivative works, and distribute those works
    that are based on the covered source code provided that you first
    compute to the last decimal place the value of pi.

The condition is not illegal, merely impossible.  I'd say that the
above is equivalent to:

    You may not copy, make derivative works, or distribute those works
    that are based on the covered source code.

> Just like the GPL contains an illegal condition.

And what condition would that be?  Does the GPL require, as a
precondition, that you commit some illegal act, or did you mean
something else not covered by your analogy?  Exactly what "illegal
condition" does the GPL contain?

-- 
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) address@hidden  <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
Nokia
"We must do something.  This is something.  Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"


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