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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 18:28:45 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
>> GPL is a license, not a contract.  
> Yeah.
> LOL.
> Heck, why are you, German GNUtian dak, still pretending to be in denial
> regarding the judgments of the courts in Munich and Frankfurt about
> contractual status of the GPL, stupid dak?

Sigh.  License adherence is held to the same standards as contract
adherence.  The difference is that

a) it is optional for the licensee to make use of the license
b) invalid terms don't invalidate the rest of the license even without
   salvatory clauses
c) contractual penalty damages (Vertragsstrafen) can't be claimed

As long as those particulars are not involved, the license text is
interpreted like a contract, namely with the standards of contract law.
Without being one.

If I feed dog food to a cat, that does not make the cat a dog.  If the
food has pieces of razor in it, it is not a valid defense for the
producer that I was not supposed to feed a cat with it.  Since for the
relevant problem, the standards of cat and dog food can be considered
sufficiently similar.

> This was pretty much the only *uncontested* fact in both cases, silly
> dak.
> Please elaborate.

Why should the defendant contest having a license?  That would not help.

David Kastrup

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