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Re: Attorney fees

From: rjack
Subject: Re: Attorney fees
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 18:49:53 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080421)

Hyman Rosen wrote:

No one gets to copy and distribute other people's copyrighted works without permission. It seems to me that you are the one demanding that the license that does allow redistribution in limited ways be voided such that the copyright owner's works may be stolen from him. Why would any court agree to

A court would agree to that because of a doctrine under U.S. common
law known as promissory estoppal:

ยง 90 of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts states:
"A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or
forbearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee
and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be
avoided only by enforcement of the promise."

In lay terms, this means that if you release your source code under some legally
unenforceable copyright contract (license) the permissions you promised remain
in effect even if the conditions and covenants are non-sense. What some call
"stealing" others call "fairness" -- your inept mistakes are not allowed to
disadvantage others who rely on your promises.


"In light of their facts, those cases thus stand for the entirely unremarkable
principle that 'uses' that violate a license agreement constitute copyright
infringement only when those uses would infringe in the absence of any license
agreement at all."; Storage Technology Corp. v. Custom Hardware Engineering &
Consulting, Inc., 421 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

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