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SubjectRe: Binary only module overview

On Sat, 29 Sep 2001, Rik van Riel wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Sep 2001 wrote:
> > However, the way I understand copyright laws (admittedly "vague"): it
> > is up to the copyright holder to defend his product, not anybody else.
> > If Linus, or anybody else, wants to say "okay, I won't file suit
> > against people who abuse me in this manner ... XYZ", that's his/her
> > right.
> But could he decide that for the code of one of the other
> few-hundred copyright holders in the kernel ?
> Note that even if Linus says he thinks something is ok,
> people would still need to respect the rights of all the
> other copyright holders to the kernel.
> Interesting thing is that Richard Stallman never seemed
> willing to take this leap and trust the GPL, but instead
> requires people to sign over their copyright to the FSF
> before code is accepted into a GNU project ;))

Geeeez, I'm no snake, but my belief would be NO, except that anyone who is
operating under the license of another can't usually exceed that license.
On the other hand, he couldn't grant "special license" anyway.

It's a pretty interesting legal issue, but GPL seems, to me, to cover all
the avenues AND pretty effectively prohibits "more restrictive" licensing.
I have NO idea if that's "legal", but, if it falls in court, there may be
many other parts of GPL that fall at the same time. And, hey, if MORE
restrictive licenses are allowed... GPL is full of holes the size of
trucks. GPL is excellent... I wouldn't TOUCH it unless I
expected to be laughed out of court.

In my experience, contracts restrict. Anything not prohibitted is
allowed, except where EVERYTHING is prohibitted and a specific list of
things are allowed. GPL seems to use that: to allow nothing but what is
mentioned, and even imposes conditions on that. What little training in
contract law (Insurance and Securities Industries) I have says either are
possible. The wording of GPL is about as tight as any contract as I have
ever read.

In essence: GPL prohibits ALL rights except where granted. Ergo,
prohibitting another right is superfluous and dangerous within the
construction of the document.

Adding ANYTHING, even a comma, seems dangerous. Linus can release his
interest, but I don't know if he can release ANYBODY ELSE's interest.

J. Melvin Jones

> cheers,
> Rik
> --
> IA64: a worthy successor to i860.
> Send all your spam to (spam digging piggy)

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