IBM/SCO/GPL (Was: Re: (L)GPL remarks and FreeGIS licensing)

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Aug 12 20:14:31 UTC 2003

On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 20:54, Niall Douglas wrote:
> My own opinion is given recent historical judgements by US courts 
> with regard to similar issues, it does not bode well. The fact the 
> GPL has the sweeping power it does it because it can be interpreted 
> in so many ways ie; it's not been fixed.

I guess in a way it might be interesting. But, I don't really think that
the GPL is going to be examined much - I would guess the argument would
be whether or not SCO's distribution of Linux under the GPL actually
means anything.

Personally, I suspect it doesn't. I can't see how it would be fair
otherwise. I'm trying to think of analogies, and the best I can think of
is a video rental store selling traded second-hand computer games that
were originally stolen from them rental some months before. Or something

Maybe someone can convince me otherwise, but I don't think the onus is
on the distributor to audit source code before distribution. I can't see
how it would benefit anyone for things to be that way. So, my personal
feeling is that the GPL issue will be rendered moot. But, who knows?


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