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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 16:31:00 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Hi, Hadron!

In gnu.misc.discuss Hadron <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <> writes:

>>> The GPL is useless without copyright law.  The two are entertwined.  You
>>> cannot understand the GPL without understanding copyright law, thus the
>>> "contents fo the GPL" includes copyright law, because the GPL is a
>>> "derivitive work" of it.

>> Right, now I'm beginning to see what you mean when you assert that the
>> GPL is difficult to understand.  By the same argument, all copyright
>> licenses are difficult to understand.

> It's not what "Erik asserts". It's what anyone with an ounce of common
> sense sees day in day out. This thread being yet another example of it.

Look Hadron, you're not "anyone", and your use of the phrase "common
sense" is a somewhat specialized one.

> To assert it's easy because you THINK you understand it fully is
> bordering on the preposterous.

We seem to be degenerating into an argument about words.  "Fully" is your
word.  If by "understand the GPL", you mean understand all the niceties
of a legal process involving the GPL, then no, I don't understand it to
that degree; I don't need to, and don't want to.  I'm a software engineer,
not a lawyer.

>> However, the GPL is NOT tangled with copyright law.  It sits on top of
>> it, or to one side of it, or whatever, but it is separate.  And no, you
>> don't need to understand copyright law to understand the GPL, any more
>> than you need to understand cell physiology to understand what an
>> antibiotic does.

[ .... ]

>>> I'm not.  I'm blaming the people that say it's impossible to
>>> misunderstand the GPL.

>> You might be referring to me, here.  If so, let me correct the false
>> impression you've got.  I haven't said it's impossible to misunderstand
>> the GPL - clearly, going by this thread, it's very possible to
>> misunderstand, particularly by people who put enough effort into it.

> You don't have to put effort into misunderstanding the GPL.

Maybe not, but it helps.

>> What I said was the GPL is easy to understand, which is true, but that

> No it isn't.

Yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't .....  Isn't it great to
have an adult conversation?  ;-(

>> assumes a normally intelligent person prepared to spend the time to read
>> read the GPL attentively.

> So now you have to study it attentively and spend lots of time?

Yes, you have to study it attentively, something which won't give a
hacker or some other intelligent person any trouble at all.  It takes
time, but not a lot of time - maybe an hour, or a small number of hours.

> So its [the GPL's] NOT "easy to understand".

It's easy enough for me.  It might not be for you.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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