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

João Miguel Neves joao at
Tue Aug 12 20:37:43 UTC 2003

The part at issue in this case is article 7 of the GPL (see below). If,
for any reason, you can't comply with the conditions of the license
(which includes distributing as Free Software) then you are not allowed
to distribute the software. So, the only way for SCO to distribute linux
code legally under the GPL was authorising the use of their patents or
any copyrighted code included in it.

  7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

A Ter, 2003-08-12 às 21:14, Alex Hudson escreveu:
> 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?
> Cheers,
> Alex.
> ______________________________________________________________________
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> Discussion at
João Miguel Neves <joao at>
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