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Re: Circumventing the GPL

From: rjack
Subject: Re: Circumventing the GPL
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 20:41:55 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080421)

Tim Smith wrote:

(I believe I read somewhere...Larry Rosen's book, perhaps...that many jurisdictions do not recognize bare licenses, and GPL *would* be seen as a
contract on those jurisdictions.  Maybe that provides a saving throw--if
someone tries to blatantly circumvent by making copies and distributing under
first sale, you sue them in a jurisdiction that would treat GPL as a

A bare license *is* a contract.

"Whether express or implied, a license is a contract 'governed by ordinary
principles of state contract law.'"; McCoy v. Mitsuboshi Cutlery, Inc., 67. F.3d
917, (United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 1995)

"Although the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ยงยง 101- 1332, grants
exclusive jurisdiction for infringement claims to the federal courts, those
courts construe copyrights as contracts and turn to the relevant state law to
interpret them."; Automation by Design, Inc. v. Raybestos Products Co., 463 F.3d
749, (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 2006)

See Professor Micheal Davis explain this fact to Richard Stallman in 1999.


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