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Re: enable MELPA & Marmalade by defaul [was: mykie.el]

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: enable MELPA & Marmalade by defaul [was: mykie.el]
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2014 14:19:03 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Tassilo Horn <address@hidden> writes:

> Stephen Berman <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> Is it even "legal" to distribute any elisp code that is not at least
>>>> compatible with the GPL?  After all, any elisp code will have to
>>>> link with Emacs to be usable.
>>> Not sure why you put "legal" in quotes.
>> Just a hedge, since I'm not sure of the legal status of the GPL,
>> whether in the US or any other jurisdiction.
> At least here in Germany, the GPL has been confirmed several times by
> German courts.

Whatever you may consider "confirmed".  The point is just that the
defense against GPL violations is rather weak.  "Your honor, we consider
the GPL to be invalid and ourselves not bound by it."  Which is
perfectly fine, and the GPL explicitly allows for it.  The problem is
that the followup question then is "Ok, let's put aside the GPL.  What
_other_ permission did you have for using this software?"  And things go
downhill from there.  The ultimate position tends to be something along
the line of "no reasonable person could have expected the license to
mean what it says".

And getting a judge to swallow that is a challenge.

It's not as much the GPL that is confirmed in such cases, but rather
copyright as such.  One reason there is more confirmation in Germany
might be that in Germany, "loser pays all".  In the U.S., it is much
more expensive to defend what is obviously yours.

David Kastrup

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