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

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: the GPL is a license not a contract ..
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 19:52:13 +0100

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> > "...
> > if the GPL is legally ineffective, the user does not have a license and
> > is thus violating copyright law. On the face of it, that sounds
> > plausible, but it is not.
> It's not only plausible, it's the law, certainly here in Germany.  A
> judge has so judged.
> > If somebody offers software on the Internet for downloading and links
> > the download with invalid general terms, he can hardly sue for
> > copyright infringement.
> I wouldn't know.  It's a somewhat hypothetical case.
> > Instead, the validity of the standard terms is a matter for the
> > software distributor:
> Or the judge.
> > if he wants to use invalid contractual terms, he bears the risk of
> > their use. It would violate equity and good faith if he were allowed
> > to sue others merely on the grounds that his license terms were
> > invalid."
> Maybe it would.  But that's somewhat hypothetical, too.  The GPL is
> valid in Germany, and this has been confirmed by a judge.

Alan, the author of "The first-ever ruling on the legal validity of the
GPL - A Critique of the Case" (PDF above) is also a judge. An appellate

The EU Database Protection Directive: Intellectual Property Rights and
Public Access to Information

Thursday 18 June 2009 16:30 - 18:00 

Dr Thomas Hoeren, Head of the Institute for Information,
Telecommunications and Media Law of the University of Muenster 

Location: Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS. This
event is open to the public. If you would like to attend please email
your name and affiliation, if any, to: 

The European Court of Justice has recently decided several cases
regarding the EU database protection directive and its impact on a sui
generis right to information. Starting with the protection of horse
racing data, the ECJ is now up to decide whether a compilation of
medieval poetry in a book is protected against re-use of its structure.
All these cases might lead to a monopolistic right in information and
cause fear whether the free access of the public to information might be
undermined by new intellectual property rights. 

Dr Hoeren will examine the leading ECJ cases and try to determine
whether the database right is efficent in the light of constitutional
and ethical meta-values. 

About the speaker 

Dr Hoeren is the Head of the Institute for Information,
Telecommunications and Media Law of the University of Muenster
(Germany). He also works as a judge at the Court of Appeal of Dusseldorf
(Copyright Senate). 


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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