GNU GPL and European law

Olivier Berger oberger at
Mon Nov 27 22:17:57 UTC 2000

"Georg C. F. Greve" a écrit :
>  >> Now my question is, if there is no equivalent to the US-Copyright,
>  >> does the GNU GPL hold in Europe?
>  gz> The copyright does hold. In Italy, like everywhere it
>  gz> exhists. Names are different, some terms differ, but the core
>  gz> meaning is the same...
> There is a study by some German lawyers that I once spoke about in the
> Brave GNU World and I happen to have been at some seminar they gave a
> few weeks ago - so I should be able to answer this.

I would also point out a study (in french, if you can understand it)
about the GPL which explains some of these issues with respect to french
law, which should be fairly similar to german law (I assume, since these
two countries are long time European Union members, but maybe I'm
totally wrong)  :

> The GNU General Public License holds _very_ well under German law. The
> only problem so far is that the "no warranty" clause does not become
> active as it is illegal as far as German law is considered. This means
> that the more general terms are applied.

Exactly the same for the french law.

> This is bad in so far as better terms than the general ones are
> possible but aren't used by the GPL so far. This is something that the
> people doing that study and I are seeking to change... how it would be
> done isn't clear so far, though.

This is indeed a tough problem, but as far as I know, you can usually
find such "no warranty" claims in the proprietary licenses too, wich may
not help either, but is still something to refer to in case of problems
: the GPL is not the only one being illegal in this way :( ... ;)

Olivier BERGER - Secrétaire de l'association APRIL 
APRIL ( - Vive python (
Pétition contre les brevets logiciels :

More information about the Discussion mailing list