Public Domain Python

Tim Peters tim_one at email.msn.com
Mon Sep 18 20:48:48 CEST 2000


[Tim]
> 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
c.l.py.  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
Moglen):

    http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/2000/1/

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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