[ILUG] Interesting article on free software licences
rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Oct 8 23:41:03 IST 2002
Quoting Paul Linehan (plinehan at yahoo.com):
> The point here is that (under French law) the author can change the
> terms of the licence arbitarily. This is because any granting of
> rights by an author must be clearly delimited in terms of how long,
> where, to whom, dates and times.
The GPL and similar licences are explicitly permanent grants of rights
attached to an instance of his work. (The other stuff mentioned
concerns contract law, e.g., the required element of privity, etc.)
> In the absence of such limitations, the original author has the right
> to change his software back to closed on a whim.
No, the author has the right to issue _additional_ instances under a
different licence, such as a proprietary ("closed" [sic]) licence.
> Rick Moen makes the point that it is not a sale but rather a granting
> of rights which are not default.
> See the bit about even the granting of rights by an author having to
> be explicitly specified - under French law.
The analysis, here and elsewhere, concerns contract law. This isn't
This isn't the first time copyright attorneys have stumbled on this
subject. I'm sure it won't be the last.
Cheers, "The front line of defense against such sophisticated
Rick Moen viruses is a continually evolving computer operating
rick at linuxmafia.com system that attracts the efforts of eager software
developers." -- Bill Gates
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