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Re: German-GPL victorious in Frankfurt district court

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: German-GPL victorious in Frankfurt district court
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 17:55:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Anonymous still tries to appeal to intellect...
> ------
> GPL validity isn't a package deal
> Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 23 2006 @ 05:03 AM EDT
> The parties have already agreed between them that the distributor
> can distribute the software.

Uh, no.  There is no agreement, no signature, no exchange of
considerations _unless_ there is a written contract that the
distributor has a right to distribute.

Once the distributor has in some manner acquired a _right_ to get the
material licensed to him, he can protest any clauses that that are
"unfair" in as much as they can't be reasonably expected as a part of
the licensing obligation.

However, the commone GPL usage case does _not_ involve a right to
licensing, but rather a licensing _gift_.  Take it or leave it.

When I develop GPLed software for customers of mine, the construction
we usually use is that they get licensed to do with the software more
or less at their behest, while we have an understanding that I am free
to license the software to others like I want to, including licensing
under the GPL.

It would be possible that I'd license the software strictly under the
GPL to my customers, too.  In _that_ case, if the GPL provisions make
it impossible for them to use the software as intended when we made
the contract, they could claim that unfair terms can't be enforced by

But in the normal case, where there is no contractual relationship
between licensor and licensee, or any obligation of licensor to
licensee, this argument does not fly.

In that case, it is "take it or leave it".

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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