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Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record

From: rjack
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 19:53:26 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080421)

Hyman Rosen wrote:
Rjack wrote:
The GPL is a purported third party donee beneficiary contract:
  b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

Notice that "licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties"
does not mean that there is any obligation to deliver anything to

True. No distribution no problem. So what? Presumably some authors do want their code to be distributed though.

It only means that third parties have license to the software
such that they are permitted to do anything they want with it as
long as they too follow the GPL.

The trouble is you can't write a copyright license that controls "all third parties" as long "as they follow the GPL". Congress specifically forbid this
situation with 17 USC sec. 301.

Rjack :)

-- "[I]f an extra element is required instead of or in addition to the acts of
reproduction, performance, distribution or display in order to constitute a
state-created cause of action, there is no preemption, provided that the extra
element changes the nature of the action so that it is qualitatively different
from a copyright infringement claim." Stromback v. New Line Cinema, 384 F.3d 283
(United States Court Of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 2004) --

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