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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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