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Re: license issue: calling a GPLv2 library

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: license issue: calling a GPLv2 library
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 17:04:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
>> > To quote Hollaar (
>> >
>> >
>> A quote which does nothing to establish the difference between license
>> and contract.
> Intelectual property licenses are contracts.

The customary "click-through" or "shrink-wrap" licenses trying to
imagine your agreement to a restriction of rights are.

> There's no "difference", stupid.

Ah, back against the wall.  Sorry to be giving you such a battering.

> Hollaar wrote:
> -----
> (The stuff about signing the license is a little wierd, too.  It's not
> really clear the point that is being made.  Perhaps it's trying to say
> that since you haven't signed the license, you haven't accepted its
> terms yet, but will have to if you are going to perform an act that
> requires a permission giving in the license.) 
> -----

More or less.

> I wrote:
> -----
> Many contracts don't require signing. Google "manifestation of
> assent".

That's for the case where I buy some goods at a shop.  The transfer of
the goods and money will be sufficient to establish a contractual
connection under normal terms (Germany has "AGBs" that usually define
contractual obligations closer and are assumed to underly the
transaction if there has been sufficient opportunity for checking them
and they don't differ in invalid ways from permitted terms).

> One accepts the GPL contract by exercising exclusive right(s)
> granted under it.

There is no automatic acceptance, and there is no contract.  One
_signifies_ acceptance with the license by exercising exclusive rights
granted under the GPL.  But signifying acceptance and accepting are
two different things.

It does not make a difference whether you had started out initially in
compliance or directly in violation for judging the state of the
affair: previous compliance does not establish a stronger indication
of principal acceptance of the license.

There is sort of a point though: compliance with the terms of a
license is legally held to similar standards as compliance with
contractual terms.  But that's about it.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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