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Re: GNU licenses

From: Lasse Reichstein Nielsen
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 10:15:28 +0200
User-agent: Opera Mail/9.01 (Win32)

On Wed, 20 Sep 2006 11:07:23 +0200, Alfred M. Szmidt <> wrote:

(citing me, please include attribution when quoting on a public list)

   You are never *bound* by the GPL.

Yes you are, I suggest you read the wording of the GNU GPL, section 5
to be exact.

   The GPL is a unilateral, but conditional, grant of rights. If you
   satisfy the conditions, you are granted a right.  If you don't
   satisfy the conditions, you are not granted it, and you will not be
   allowed to distribute the work without breaking copyright law
   (which you are bound by, whether you accept it or not).

And thus you are bound by the license, since the license is a
extention of copyright law.

It seems to me that we read "being bound by the license" differently.

The license is not a contract, and even if it was, I don't need to
accept it. As such, the license does not enforce any requirements on
me. I am not bound to do anything that I would not be bound to do
without the GPL, nor am I prevented from anything that I woudldn't be
without it. I can completely ignore the license, and not be any
worse off than if it didn't apply.

The only restrictions placed on me is by copyright law.

If I fail to satisfy the conditions of the GPL, and yet distribute
the work, then my only violation is against copyright law. Failing
to comply with the conditions of the GPL is not illegal and you cannot
be sued for license violation, since it's not a license you are bound
to comply to.

That is why I object to saying that one is "bound by the license", since
it binds you to nothing.

Lasse R. Nielsen -
 'Faith without judgement merely degrades the spirit divine'
Reproduction of this message, or parts thereof, is allowed if proper attribution is given. This message does not represent the opinion of my emplyer, nor is it legal advice.

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