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From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: SFLC is SOL
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:08:54 -0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.92 (gnu/linux)

RJack <> writes:

> Hyman Rosen wrote:
>> On 3/16/2010 10:05 AM, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>>> Read a bit more than a couple of introductory paragraphs
>> Nothing else you quote at all supports the notion that preemption has
>> anything to do with the GPL. That's not surprising, since preemption
>> has nothing to do with the GPL.
> GPLv2:
>   "b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
>     whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
>     part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
>     parties under the terms of this License."
> Supreme Court:
> "[I]t goes without saying that a contract cannot bind a non-party".
> 279, 122 S.Ct. 754, 151 L.Ed.2d 755.

But for those who want to have it said explicitly, the GPL spells it

      9. Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.

      You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or
    run a copy of the Program.  Ancillary propagation of a covered work
    occurring solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission
    to receive a copy likewise does not require acceptance.  However,
    nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate
    or modify any covered work.  These actions infringe copyright if you
    do not accept this License.  Therefore, by modifying or propagating
    a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do

The GPL is not a contract, in particular not a binding contract.  It is
a license.  The recipient does not become licensee under the GPL
automatically, but by accepting the terms for modification and
redistribution.  Once he does that, he is bound by them.

It goes without saying that a contract or license cannot bind a
non-party.  Copyright, however, will bind non-parties to such an
agreement.  The recipient may, at his choice, become a party.  If he
wants to make use of the privileges granted to a party (namely a
licensee), he needs to keep the conditions for becoming so.  It is his

David Kastrup

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