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Re: the GPL is a license not a contract ..

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: the GPL is a license not a contract ..
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 12:02:21 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <> wrote:
>>> Doug Mentohl wrote:
>>>> Rjack wrote:
>>> For the past seventy years no federal court has ever ruled a 
>>> copyright license to be anything other than a contract.
>> Who cares?  One's got 7 letters, the other 8.  It's the effect it
>>  has which is important, not the name you give it.
> It matters greatly. Since license are contracts, interpretation
> under state common law applies as well as federal copyright law.
> Things like privity and 17 USC 301(a) apply. Without a choice of law
> provision a copyright license may be interpreted fifty different
> ways depending on which state jurisdiction is invoked.

All sounds rather parochial to me.  There are a great deal more than
merely fifty different systems of law under which the GPL operates.

> Sincerely,
> Rjack :)

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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