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Re: [Matt Asay Tells The Truth] Stallman: GPL doesn't guarantee software

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: [Matt Asay Tells The Truth] Stallman: GPL doesn't guarantee software freedom
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 17:38:22 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
>> Nonsense.  The "affirmative act" is accomplished in advance when the
>> copyright holder acts according to the recommendation:
> Go to doctor, idiot dak.
> One just can't be a party (licensor or licensee) to an intellectual
> property license under unknown/unspecified/future/later terms.

The terms are

    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

There is nothing unknown or unspecified about it.  Don't forget that the
GPL is a license, not a contract.  You get a set of permissions you may
use, and the set of permissions includes the option to use later terms,
once they are published.  It is an option which the recipient may or may
not make use of.

> A promise to make a promise is not enforceable.

That's not a promise.

> "THE COURT: -- it sounded like it was all mixed together, all jumbled,
> mumbled and that we needed to talk to Mr. Thorson. Now nobody ever
> told me that Mr. Thorson ever agreed, so it sounds like a promise to
> make a promise, which of course, the law doesn't recognize as an
> enforceable contract. A contract in the future is not a contract. Horn
> book law. . .  ."

Your capacity to dig up utterly unrelated quotes is uncontested.

David Kastrup

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