Public Domain Python

Tim Peters tim_one at
Mon Sep 18 20:48:48 CEST 2000

> The GPL is not a contract, and by deliberate intent ...
> The ploy here was to try to rely solely on copyright law, which
> is much more uniform across jurisdictions (& especially across
> national boundaries) than contract law.

[Pat McCann]
> That first sentence shocks me, coming from you.

I didn't think you were that easily shocked <wink>.

> Despite your humble protestations against accusations of having
> legal knowledge, you've shown before that you understand the theory
> of contracts better than that displayed above.

Contract law is a mess, and especially internationally.  I expect U.S.
supporters of the GPL would prefer to consider it a binding contract, but
the implications in some other countries make many non-U.S. supporters flee
from "a contract reading".  Even within the U.S., you reported here just the
other day that *some* states require the exchange of "valuable
consideration" on both sides in order for a contract to be recognized.  You
can argue that wrt the GPL until everyone is blue in the face too.

> Here's why I think the GPL does form a contract: ...

Sorry, but I don't want to argue about the GPL at all, and especially not on  Here's the first page of a fine article where you can read some
U.S. law professors arguing about it (incl. the FSF's general counsel, Eben

Until it comes up in court, there are only lawyers' conflicting opinions
about the issue (and after it comes up in court twice, likely judges'
conflicting opinions too <0.5 wink>).  FWIW, the GPL sure "smells like" a
contract to me, but that's purely from a mildly educated layman's POV -- and
the CWI license smelled just as much like a contract to me.

reading-this-closing-constitutes-acceptance-of-my-terms-ly y'rs  - tim

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