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SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

Rob,

You know, I would have to say you just waxed my arse all over the mailing
list and left it in the mop bucket for cooling off. The beauty is I can
now laugh about it, and see you are so raw over the issue. Have a case of
chapstick to help smooth over the burn.

It is kind of cool you had an atomic bomb to fry me, if I cared I would
respond in the old ugly manners, but hey I asked for it. Feels like the
the dude in the Memorex commerial.

Cheers,

Andre Hedrick
LAD Storage Consulting Group

On Thu, 11 Dec 2003, Rob Landley wrote:

> On Thursday 11 December 2003 16:42, Andre Hedrick wrote:
> > Rob,
> >
> > > The fact you personally were off in a corner talking about little green
> > > men from mars is remarkably irrelevant to what I wrote to Hua Zhong (who
> > > I'm fairly certain is not you. His english is better.)
> >
> > Gee, I love the insults. I seriously doubt you have ever paid a lawyer
> > to even have the knowledge to allow you to pump out the bovine piles you
> > are spraying in the air.
>
> I've noticed that you love insults, yes. I believe you've finally found a
> statement that we can both agree on.
>
> > Correct, I am not a lawyer, and you admit you are not one.
>
> Two. Wow. Progress.
>
> > I have paid lawyers for advice and some damn good ones.
> >
> > Can you say the same?
>
> I have paid lawyers for advice. I have been paid BY lawyers. I have hung out
> socially with lawyers. I have studied law for years, although not with the
> aim of acquiring credentials.
>
> Here's a week-long series on intellectual property I wrote for The Motley Fool
> a few years ago. It was reviewed by TMF's legal department, and we went back
> and forth on a couple minor things before it got published.
>
> http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000501.htm
> http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000502.htm
> http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000503.htm
> http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000504.htm
> http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000505.htm
>
> I've since spotted a couple more minor points that crept past the lawyers who
> reviewed it. I have learned since then. I learned doing it: I still have
> some of the literature I picked up visiting the PTO in washington DC doing
> research for that series. And I learned a lot years before doing it. That's
> just one example that's still online.
>
> I have been paid to explain the standard community interpretation of the GPL
> by at least three different companies' lawyers now. (I started studying the
> GPL and LGPL specifically in 1996, which is really what got me into this
> whole hobby...)
>
> A few years ago I had some fairly extensive email discussions with Richard
> Stallman about copyright and the GPL (even driving to boston to interview him
> in person once). I've had considerably more extensive discussions with Eric
> Raymond (whose wife is a lawyer, and who as president of OSI has been asked
> to review licenses by companies like Apple and IBM...)
>
> Heck, Eric and Cathy are _friends_ of mine. Try "dig www.landley.net" and
> "dig www.thyrsus.com": I'm still borrowing space on the machine in Eric's
> basement because I've been too lazy to arrange a hosting box here in Texas.
> (It's on my to-do list...) I'm mentioned in the introduction of Eric's new
> book because I went to Pennsylvania and crashed on his couch for a month to
> edit the thing. (http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/pr01s06.html
> paragraph 2. The "walkthrough" in 0.2 and 0.3 of the revision history was
> _ME_.)
>
> I'm the one who arranged to have a panel at Penguicon on intellectual property
> issues with a real lawyer (Cathy) explaining what the various open source
> licenses mean to attendees (See
> http://penguicon.sourceforge.net/programming.shtml sunday, 10 am, north
> belle). This year's Penguicon will probably have another one, although I'm
> much less involved...
>
> And what I've learned from ALL of that (and far more that's not worth listing
> here) is that there's a reason it's called a legal OPINION, and what you
> generally say isn't "you're wrong" but "I disagree, and here's why". Judges
> give rulings, not lawyers. (And judges' rulings get overturned, don't apply
> to a given case, vary by jurisdiction, etc...)
>
> Lawyers no more universally agree on interpretations of the law then techies
> agree on kernel optimizations. And open source licensing (as a subset of
> intellectual property) is every bit as much a specialty area of the law as
> virtual memory page replacement strategies (a subset of kernel development)
> is a specialty area of programming. (Most lawyers don't really know much
> about it at all, they just know where to look it up. Hence a couple lawyers
> asking me what the community thinks the GPL means. Obviously they don't take
> my opinion as gospel: they go and read the thing themselves, and the law, and
> as much relevant case law as they can find (which ain't much), and then we
> have a back and forth...)
>
> I don't know much about estate planning, tax law, insurance law, or civil
> administrative procedure. I keep forgetting what latin terms like "res
> judicata" mean (god bless Google), and I had to look up "barratry" at the
> start of the SCO thing. But yes, I consider myself competently informed
> about my little niche.
>
> These days, with resources like http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ out
> there, it's not nearly as hard to be up to speed on this as it used to be.
> (You used to have to go to the LIBRARY. And get out BOOKS. And send money
> to Nolo Press every time they got sued. Uphill. Both ways.)
>
> > Can you say the same?
>
> Why would I want to?
>
> I've seen experts in this area. Eben Moglen
> (http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/) and Lawrence Lessig
> (http://www.lessig.org/blog/) come to mind.
>
> I am not an expert here. I am an educated layman. I read things like "Legal
> battles that shaped the computer industry" (by Lawrence D. Graham,
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567201784/026-4037783-2541254 ) for
> fun. Yes, I am weird.
>
> You obviously aren't even an educated layman if you think that simply having
> spoken to a lawyer means that legalness somehow rubbed off on you and gave
> you an aura of absolute truth. Every time I talk to a lawyer, the concept of
> absolute truth in law gets farther and farther away...
>
> Feel free to take that as a suggestion.
>
> Rob
>

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