Interesting ruling on GPL.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by thing2, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. thing2

    thing2 Guest

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060320201540127

    "......So, the end result is, the GPL went to court, and the judge not
    only upheld it, he said this:

    [T]he GPL encourages, rather than discourages, free competition and the
    distribution of computer operating systems, the benefits of which
    directly pass to consumers. These benefits include lower prices, better
    access and more innovation.

    I'm sure that was not Mr. Wallace's intention, to strenghten the GPL.
    But he did.

    So, what do you think? Will we still have to listen to nonsense about
    the GPL not being a real license? That it's never been tested in court?
    That it undermines the marketplace? That it's unfair competition?

    All that SCO FUD was answered in a little courtroom in Indiana today......"

    So some crazy has just, in effect put the GPL through some legal hoops
    and it survived so well it is now case law.....

    regards

    Thing
    thing2, Mar 21, 2006
    #1
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  2. On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:23:20 +1200, someone purporting to be thing2 didst
    scrawl:

    *SNIP*
    > So, what do you think? Will we still have to listen to nonsense about
    > the GPL not being a real license? That it's never been tested in court?
    > That it undermines the marketplace? That it's unfair competition?
    >

    MySQL had tested it previously, and also won. This is just further
    reinforcement of the strength and validity of the GPL.

    > All that SCO FUD was answered in a little courtroom in Indiana today......"
    >

    Not just SCO. Microsoft and their "communist" taunts are similarly
    silenced by the Judge's comments.

    > So some crazy has just, in effect put the GPL through some legal hoops
    > and it survived so well it is now case law.....
    >

    What's amusing is that the GPL has survived more judicial scrutiny than
    any of MS's EULA's, since AFAIK there's never been a legal challenge of
    the validity of MS's terms.

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
    Matthew Poole, Mar 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. thing2

    thingy Guest

    Matthew Poole wrote:
    > On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:23:20 +1200, someone purporting to be thing2 didst
    > scrawl:
    >
    > *SNIP*
    >
    >>So, what do you think? Will we still have to listen to nonsense about
    >>the GPL not being a real license? That it's never been tested in court?
    >>That it undermines the marketplace? That it's unfair competition?
    >>

    >
    > MySQL had tested it previously, and also won. This is just further
    > reinforcement of the strength and validity of the GPL.
    >
    >
    >>All that SCO FUD was answered in a little courtroom in Indiana today......"
    >>

    >
    > Not just SCO. Microsoft and their "communist" taunts are similarly
    > silenced by the Judge's comments.
    >
    >
    >>So some crazy has just, in effect put the GPL through some legal hoops
    >>and it survived so well it is now case law.....
    >>

    >
    > What's amusing is that the GPL has survived more judicial scrutiny than
    > any of MS's EULA's, since AFAIK there's never been a legal challenge of
    > the validity of MS's terms.
    >


    Yes, MS and many others have claimed it would not.....just about the
    only loony claim left is its a commie plot and un-constitutional....that
    has as much chance of flying as a brick in a vaccum jar.....

    regards

    Thing
    thingy, Mar 21, 2006
    #3
  4. On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:23:20 +1200, thing2 wrote:

    > I'm sure that was not Mr. Wallace's intention, to strenghten the GPL.
    > But he did.


    And the good thing about it, err... Thing, ;o) is that not only was the
    GPL strengthened by having been tested in court, but the plaintiff has to
    pay costs - the case was futile.


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    --
    One Unix to rule them all,
    One Resolver to find them,
    One IP to bring them all
    And in the Zone to Bind them.
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Mar 21, 2006
    #4
  5. In article <>, Matthew Poole <> wrote:
    (snip)
    >What's amusing is that the GPL has survived more judicial scrutiny than
    >any of MS's EULA's, since AFAIK there's never been a legal challenge of
    >the validity of MS's terms.


    I thought there was soemthing that said you had to at least be able to read
    the terms and conditions before "agreeing" to them ?
    I thought that was a ruling (maybe not by a court tho) and I thought it was
    in NZ a few years ago ... when they had those "by opening this pack you
    agree to the licence" things ... even tho you didn't get to read the licence
    until you'd opened the pack that contained it :)



    Bruce

    ----------------------------------------
    I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good
    people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and
    only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.

    Lord Vetinari in Guards ! Guards ! - Terry Pratchett

    Caution ===== followups may have been changed to relevant groups
    (if there were any)
    Bruce Sinclair, Mar 22, 2006
    #5
  6. thing2

    Dave Green Guest

    Have A Nice Cup of Tea wrote:
    > On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:23:20 +1200, thing2 wrote:
    >
    >> I'm sure that was not Mr. Wallace's intention, to strenghten the GPL.
    >> But he did.

    >
    > And the good thing about it, err... Thing, ;o) is that not only was the
    > GPL strengthened by having been tested in court, but the plaintiff has to
    > pay costs - the case was futile.
    >
    >
    > Have A Nice Cup of Tea
    >


    The GPL wasn't "tested in court". Wallace's claim was thrown out because
    he failed to state a proper case, after having been given several goes
    at it. The judge made mention of the GPL in passing.

    d
    Dave Green, Mar 22, 2006
    #6
  7. thing2

    Gordon Guest

    On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 11:37:45 +1200, Matthew Poole wrote:

    > What's amusing is that the GPL has survived more judicial scrutiny than
    > any of MS's EULA's, since AFAIK there's never been a legal challenge of
    > the validity of MS's terms.


    Not really, the GPL is based on turning the Copyright upon its self to
    ensure that the code stays free. There is not alot of you *must* do this
    and not do that so I see that there is not alot the legal begals can hook
    into.

    After all the GPL is about freedom, not money.
    Gordon, Mar 22, 2006
    #7
  8. thing2

    Peter Guest

    thingy wrote:

    >
    > Yes, MS and many others have claimed it would not.....just about the
    > only loony claim left is its a commie plot and un-constitutional....that
    > has as much chance of flying as a brick in a vaccum jar.....
    >


    There is an important thing that people fail to understand.

    If the owner or assignee of GPL'd code sues you for copyright, it is you who
    has to wave around the GPL to show that you are lawfully using it as
    permitted by the licence.

    If you have been breaching the terms (eg distributing modifications to
    original routines without making the source code available) and then try to
    wiggle out of it by claiming the GPL is invalid, unconstitutional, does not
    apply in NZ, not tested by any court, fattening etc., you are in deeper
    trouble. this is simply because you then have no GPL to fall back on in
    your defence. People initially fell into the trap by thinking if you could
    wipe away the GPL, you would put the code in question into the public
    domain.

    They then try to get round this problem by still arguing the GPL should be
    invalidated and then the whole body of code subject to the GPL be declared
    in the public domain under the 'cy pres' doctrine. Trouble is, what judge
    is going to make a ruling that will alter the course of the law that would
    affect millions of people.

    Also remember there is not just one GPL in the world, there are thousands if
    not millions of invocations of the GPL in the world. The GPL itself is
    merely like the blank tenancy forms letting agencies use when signing up
    tenants.
    Peter, Mar 22, 2006
    #8
  9. On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 17:49:19 +1200, someone purporting to be Peter didst
    scrawl:

    > thingy wrote:

    *SNIP*
    > They then try to get round this problem by still arguing the GPL should be
    > invalidated and then the whole body of code subject to the GPL be declared
    > in the public domain under the 'cy pres' doctrine. Trouble is, what judge
    > is going to make a ruling that will alter the course of the law that would
    > affect millions of people.
    >

    *SNIP*

    Anyone who thinks that cy pres (and, yes, I did have to look it up) could
    get the code put into the public domain if the GPL was declared invalid is
    pushing shit uphill, really. If nothing else, that's because the GPL quite
    clearly states that in the event of its failure all the code in question
    reverts to standard copyright. It's a pretty concrete way of ensuring that
    a cy pres ruling won't result in stuff becoming public domain.

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
    Matthew Poole, Mar 22, 2006
    #9
  10. thing2

    PC Guest

    "thing2" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060320201540127
    >
    > "......So, the end result is, the GPL went to court, and the judge not
    > only upheld it, he said this:
    >
    > [T]he GPL encourages, rather than discourages, free competition and the
    > distribution of computer operating systems, the benefits of which directly
    > pass to consumers. These benefits include lower prices, better access and
    > more innovation.
    >
    > I'm sure that was not Mr. Wallace's intention, to strenghten the GPL. But
    > he did.
    >
    > So, what do you think? Will we still have to listen to nonsense about the
    > GPL not being a real license? That it's never been tested in court? That
    > it undermines the marketplace? That it's unfair competition?
    >
    > All that SCO FUD was answered in a little courtroom in Indiana
    > today......"
    >
    > So some crazy has just, in effect put the GPL through some legal hoops and
    > it survived so well it is now case law.....
    >
    > regards
    >
    > Thing




    mmmmm

    Wonder what would have been the result if the Plantiff had sued Printer
    manufacturers for locking out compeditors ink cartridges.

    But then the Plantiff is obviously not a very clever chap is he!

    2c
    P.
    PC, Mar 22, 2006
    #10
  11. thing2

    Peter Guest

    Matthew Poole wrote:

    >
    > Anyone who thinks that cy pres (and, yes, I did have to look it up) could
    > get the code put into the public domain if the GPL was declared invalid is
    > pushing shit uphill, really. If nothing else, that's because the GPL quite
    > clearly states that in the event of its failure all the code in question
    > reverts to standard copyright. It's a pretty concrete way of ensuring that
    > a cy pres ruling won't result in stuff becoming public domain.
    >

    Agreed, there are far too many impediments for this to ever fly in any usual
    jurisdiction. The idea came about after SCO and others tried to argue the
    GPL was 'unconstitutional' and then had to try and get out of the trap they
    sprung on themselves.

    A few years ago there was a NZ lawyer talking through a hole in his hat
    about alleged problems with the GPL. A quick check showed that a certain
    large software company was one of his clients.
    Peter, Mar 24, 2006
    #11
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