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SubjectRe: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders
On Maw, 2006-01-31 at 09:57 -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> The fact that the COPYING file has a different copyright really doesn't
> matter. It's still part of the release.

Law is about precision and exact wording as well as intent. The exact
wording is "the Program" not "the release". And Program is capitalised
to indicate the use of the definition made earlier. That is: "The
"Program", below, refers to any such program or work, and a "work based
on the Program" means either the Program or any derivative work under
copyright law"

The COPYING file is not derivative and is not by any usual
interpretation part of the program. As I said and showed earlier the
COPYING file cannot be part of the program without contradiction.

Ask a law student if you don't believe me, or do it in equations not

> It's absolutely not different from having a separate "Release notes" file
> which specifies the copyright conditions. That's how Linux-0.01 did it:
> the thing was outside the actual main tar-ball, and sent out both as part
> of the announcemnt and as a separate file in the same directory on the
> ftp-site.

The release notes are part of the program. The section starting "NOTE!"
is maybe part of the program (thats a real lawyer question). However
whether it is or not is such clear intent that nobody would win an
argument that you had not said nowdays that it is V2

> I can make very specific arguments for why version 2 ONLY is the specific
> license that covers Linux. In contrast you can only make weasel-wording

Well if you consider accurate interpretation of language 'weasel
wording' I can only feel sorry for you and be glad you write code not
English. But since I don't actually want to change the license on the
kernel and I already can if I wanted for the small percentage I wrote I
don't see the need to continue the debate.


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