[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Savannah vs. Open Software License

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Savannah vs. Open Software License
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 19:06:38 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 04:36:54PM +0300, Samium Gromoff wrote:
> Also, from private discussions with Andre i`ve gathered another
> point: the worser part is that GPL is constructed in such a way
> that it is possible to build a contract which works like that:
> "you" is the GPL "raper"
> 1. you steal the code, modify it and build a product.
> 2. you sell the binaries, and you provide the source only to the
>    people who already own the binaries--so GPL requirements on
>    "providing the source" are met.
> 3. while signing the contract with the consumer you have this
>    or something semantically equivalent to this clause included
>    in it:
> "You, as a user, agree to drop the right to redistribute
>  the source code of the binary we sell you."
>  The trick is that the international contract law overrides the GPL.
>  And then you can sue people for contract breach if they
>  redistribute the source.
> Like it?

It's a simple GPL violation under clause 6. The person that "you" are
licensing the code to does not have the ability to grant "you" the
right to do this; the person that "you" have licensed the code *from*
has prohibited you from doing this, in clause 6.

All you have succeeded in doing is revoking your own license to copy
and distribute the software in question. As a side note, you have
probably revoked the recipients license to distribute *your* binary,
too (under clause 7).

> I didn`t and i`m distributing my work under the Open Software
> License, as seen at:

I suspect this license is non-free due to overbearing patent
clauses. Also, I think that you would be very stupid to use this
license, because under clause 7 you are explicitly and fully liable to
anybody who receives this license from you, for anything that may
arise as a result of you failing to ensure that you have the right to
grant this license.

That sounds tangeled, so here's an example case: You've been working
on a piece of software 'foo' for some time. 'Mallory' comes along and
contributes a significant and valuable new feature to it; you
immediately include this and make a new release. Next week, Mallory
sues a dozen people for copyright violation, because he never agreed
for it to be released under this license. These people can now sue
*you* and try to reclaim any damages and court costs they may expend
on Mallory, because you have explicitly granted an unlimited warranty
that this would not happen.

The above is not legal advice. However, this is non-legal advice: DO
REGRET IT. This license imposes constraints upon the licensor, which
could be "expensive" in the sense of millions if they are not strictly

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' : |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]