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Re: gpl licensing

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: gpl licensing
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2006 19:04:27 +0100

Aragorn (registered Guh-NÜ-slash-Linux user #223157) wrote:
> On Wednesday 06 December 2006 18:19, Alexander Terekhov stood up and
> addressed the masses in /gnu.misc.discuss/ as follows...:
> > Aragorn (registered Guh-NÜ-slash-Linux user #223157) wrote:
> > [...]
> >> The word "commercial" is thrown in by this person solely for the purpose
> >> of bloating his argument.  There is nothing in the GPL that states that
> >> software cannot be sold commercially,
> >
> > "So now they're going to try the hard work of cracking 'Freedom'. Free,
> > well that means stuff you don't pay for"
> >
> >    -- Eben Moglen ("Moglen: How we'll kill the Microsoft Novell deal")
> Freedom doesn't mean that it has to be free of charge, although generally
> Free Software does indeed come free of charge.
> Equating "free" to "free of charge" is a colloquialism.  It's not the FSF's
> fault that people tend to take rumors and misinterpretations for truths.

IBM: "65. Among the "further restrictions" that the GPL and LGPL do not
permit are royalties or licensing fees (Ex.27 ¶¶ 2, 3; Ex. 26 ¶¶ 2, 4)
(although fees can be collected for "the physical act of transferring
a copy" of the code or for warranty protection). (Ex. 27 ¶ 1; Ex. 26
¶ 1.) If modified works or machine-readable versions of GPL- or LGPL-
licensed software are distributed, they must be licensed "at no charge
to all third parties under the terms of this License." (Ex. 27 ¶ 2
(emphasis added); Ex. 26 ¶ 2; see also Ex. 27 ¶ 3; Ex. 26 ¶ 4.)"
JUDGMENT in SCO v. IBM (see Groklaw).

And drunken trio team of judges lead by prolific and learned Chief 
Judge Frank Easterbrook went even further:

Before EASTERBROOK, KANNE, and EVANS, Circuit Judges.

EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge. Does the provision of copyrighted software 
under the GNU General Public License (“GPL”) violate the federal 
antitrust laws? Authors who distribute their works under this license, 
devised by the Free Software Foundation, Inc., authorize not only
copying but also the creation of derivative works—and the license 
prohibits charging for the derivative work. People may make and 
distribute derivative works if and only if they come under the same 
license terms as the original work. Thus the GPL propagates from user 
to user and revision to revision: neither the original author, nor any
creator of a revised or improved version, may charge for the software 
or allow any successor to charge. Copyright law, usually the basis of 
limiting reproduction in order to collect a fee, ensures that open-
source software remains free: any attempt to sell a derivative work 
will violate the copyright laws, even if the improver has not accepted 
the GPL. The Free Software Foundation calls the result “copyleft.”


The GPL covers only the software; people are free to charge for the 
physical media on which it comes and for assistance in making it work. 
Paper manuals, and the time of knowledgeable people who service and 
support an installation, thus are the most expensive part of using 

So concluded prolific and learned Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, and 
added that: "Copyright and patent laws give authors *a right* to charge 
more [than zero], so that they can recover their fixed costs [and thus 
promote innovation], but they do *not require* authors to charge more." 

"This [and the fact that "the Supreme Court has permitted producers to 
initiate predatory-pricing litigation"] does not assist Williams, 
however, because his legal theory is faulty substantively."

You hear that, Williams? (Does Easterbrook mean Wallace or Gates?) You 
are not required to charge more once a piece of your intellectual 
property exists.

And so it is perfectly okay for copyleft ("free as in freedom") to
suppress *a right* given by copyright law and *require* to charge
zero to cover costs of creating a piece of intellectual property to

Impeccable logic.

Right, Aragorn (registered Guh-NÜ-slash-Linux user #223157)?


( - Meet the DotCommunist)

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