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Re: Intellectual Property II

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Intellectual Property II
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 19:11:15 +0100

Rahul Dhesi wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov <> is at it again:
> [ 8 + 39 lines of quoted content ]
> [ 2 meaningless lines of original content ]

Hey Rahul, but the most charming piece regarding GNUtian legal system 
from you is this:

Appended below is a copy of what I posted previously.  (Sometimes
discussions stray so far nobody remembers what the original question
was :-)

I am essentially making the claim that by placing software under the
GNU license, you are not losing any rights over it.  You are granting
others certain rights.  Corollaries:

- You can violate the GNU license for your software without violating
  copyright law.  Why?  Because you cannot unilaterally give up your
  rights.  So you are not bound by the GNU license even though you
  have placed your software under it.

- You can later revoke the rights that you granted to others
  when you placed the software under the GNU license.  Why?  Because
  you did not grant any rights to any specific person.  What would be
  the grounds of a lawsuit?  That you violated a contract?  There was
  none.  Fraud?  Maybe.  Some sort of general tort for damages?
  Perhaps.  Even if a court rules that you can't revoke your decision,
  that ruling will likely only be given to protect a specific defendant
  who suffered actual damages as a consequence of your revoking your
  decision.  I doubt very much that a court will rule that you can't
  revoke your decision at all, only that you must compensate *this*
  specific defendant with *proven* damages, or let him keep using your

  I don't know of any enabling legislation that allows a
  person to place software under the GNU license and be unable to
  revoke this decision later.

I am not claiming that my claim is provably correct, only that it's a
claim!  Sometimes such claims are proven wrong, not because they were
wrong when they were made, but because judges make new law all the
time.  Free software lies near the periphery of tried and trusted legal
precedents.  Who knows what the next judge will decide?

Most judges who use computers at home use Macintoshes.  Need I say


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