UCITA, Licen[cs]e wrangling (was Re: Python 2.0b1 is released!)

Paul Wright paul-wright at verence.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 13 20:14:15 CEST 2000

In article <8pnuqo$f69$1 at newsserver.rrzn.uni-hannover.de>,
Bernhard Reiter <breiter at usf.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE> wrote:
>In article <8pmbqb$gbu$1 at verence.demon.co.uk>,
>	paul-wright at verence.demon.co.uk (Paul Wright) writes:
>> In article <39BDDBF6.DFA954B4 at seebelow.org>,
>> Grant Griffin  <g2 at seebelow.org> wrote:
>>>Paul Wright wrote:
>>>I can't help but point out that in believing that interpretation, you
>>>are trusting the FSF.  

No I didn't. Please be careful with your quoting. Grant wrote the above

>>>But have you ever noticed that software licenses seem to be largely
>>>academic anyway?  Here's what I have observed:
>> ...
>>>But specifically in the case of free/open software it is unlikely that
>>>one would lose any kind of "implied warranty" lawsuit: if the software
>>>was both free and open, the plaintiff would seemingly have a hard time
>>>explaining why he thought you owed him money when it didn't work as he
>>>intended, and when he was welcome and invited to fix it.
>> I'm pretty sure that, under British law, the fact that free software is
>> given away without charge means that a lot of the consumer protection
>> law doesn't apply.
>Free Software is not necessary given away without charge.
>Think Linux Distributions or Cygnus.
>Free Software also can be commercial.

I would hope that they what they're actually selling is support, printed
documentation, the CD itself, and so on, because I'm reasonably certain
that trying to undo the various consumer rights acts is actually illegal
and certainly unenforceable. OTOH ISTR reading something about software
not being a "product" unless it is embedded in a system, so maybe I'm
completely wrong. I need to get to the chapter in "Safer C" about
software and the legal system...

>>>As another example, if you include a little GPL'ed code in a program
>>>you distribute as an executable, there isn't much to force you to
>>>follow the terms of the GPL; it's pretty unlikely that anybody will
>>>discover this grave slight to the Noble Cause of Freedom, and it's even
>>>_more_ unlikely that anybody will come after you for doing it. 
>This is also not completly true.  It has been done there are some
>cases, which were important.
>The owner of the copyright has the right to sue.
>NeXT for instance used the gcc and added objective-c.
>Corel was put inder pressure because the were not including the

And now Compaq, by the looks of it.

----- Paul Wright ------| For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to
-paul.wright at pobox.com--| go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is
http://pobox.com/~pw201 | to move.  -Stevenson

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