ILIAS mix of GNU GPL with own terms

Lutz Horn lh at
Fri Jun 1 16:17:00 UTC 2001

Hi Sonja,

* Sonja Branskat <Sonja.Branskat at> [20010601 10:12 +0200]:
> [Lutz Horn]
> > So you allow me to distribute the software to people who actively
> > search for patent violations?
> yes, you can. If someone finds anything, they will sue you as you
> distributed the software.
> You will not succeed in forwarding the trouble and the costs to us, as
> you accepted our AGBs.

Following Frank on that I don't think that the distributor is hold
responsible for violation of third parties rights but the original
author. But IANAL, too :-)

One more twist: What if I reveive the software from you after accepting
the AGBs, distribute the software to a third person who makes some minor
changes to it and again distributes the modified software back to me.
Since I didn't force him to accept your AGBs he received the unmodified
version from me only under terms of the GPL. He, too, is bound to
distribute it under the GPL so I receive the modified version after
accepting only the GPL. Any trave of your AGBs is gone at this point.
Now I'm free to actively search for patent violations and do what ever I
want if I find one.

Now you have two choices: a) you let it happen or b) you sue me for
violating the AGBs. If you choose b) the software is not free.

But even more important than the "Nebenpflichten" is the term about the
obligation to transfer a copy of any modified version of the software to
you. As far as I understand the FSF(E) would consider this additional
condition enough to make the software non free. You can of course argue
that only those users are bound to follow this obligation who have
received the software directly from you and that any third person
receiving the software not directly from you is not bound by it. But,
again, why this obligation in the first place?


Lutz Horn <lh at>
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