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Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"

From: peterwn
Subject: Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"
Date: 29 Jun 2006 04:22:43 -0700
User-agent: G2/0.2

> Moglen makes extraordinary claims about the GPL, so why doesn't he come
> forward with the appropriate legal citations?

There are not any - no one so far has had the guts to say to Eb - 'see
you in court'.

> Moglen is a J.D. with a
> Ph.D. in history and not an LL.M.

So how did he get admitted to the NY Bar and the Supreme Court Bar

>He would not even be accepted as
> qualified for Professorship at many institutions.

Name a few examples - Yale? Harvard? No, it cannot be Harvard - he had
a visiting professorship there.  Perhaps some third rate institutions
may not accept him.

>What qualifies his word alone as "legal authority"?
If what he says resonates with the judges then he IS a legal authority,
judges frequently turn to legal writings to help resolve cases.

The whole matter of GPL and copyright boils down to one thing - it is
whether the owner of the works chooses to characterize any claim as a
pure breach of copyright or as a contract breach.  If there was the
usual acceptance, offer, consideration process where both parties
obviously intended to create a legally binding contract then it would
be a contract matter (eg EULA's).

The owner of the work can merely say 'you have breached copyright law
by using my works'  and then pre-empt any defence by indicating  how
the GPL does not permit the act being complained of.  It is over to the
accused to present a defence by showing how the GPL has permitted the
use he has made of the works.  If the accused thinks the GPL is a load
of hogwash and does not wish to use it in his defence - that is quite
OK - he is in breach of copyright law with no defence.  No hint or
whisper of contract anywhere - bringing contract into it is just a red
herring - in pretty well all cases such as this, it probably never even
entered the accused's head whether he had a contract with the owner of
the works - he just cannot simply whistle up a contract retrospectively
to get himelf off the hook.

Eb can easily collect scalps for the FSF - this clearly indicated that
his interpretation of the law is robust.

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