(L)GPL remarks and FreeGIS licensing

João Miguel Neves joao at silvaneves.org
Wed Aug 13 06:29:09 UTC 2003

A Qua, 2003-08-13 às 00:11, Niall Douglas escreveu:
> I appreciate your point in this, but I've not met many lawyers who 
> think it's watertight. And indeed, quite a few management bods have 
> thought about contesting it and backed down after realising how awful 
> it would be for PR.
I've never met one lawyer that thinks that anything is watertight. If
you start talking about judges and law professors, that's another thing.

> The GPL is far more a social contract than a legal one. To violate it 
> invokes the ire of a very vocal group and even if you don't agree 
> with it in itself, every programmer in the world doesn't like people 
> doing things with their code they specifically said not to do.
> However in situations where sales are already predetermined (ie; 
> bespoke solutions), GPL violation is endemic according to a lawyer I 
> talked to in British Aerospace systems. This is because PR image 
> doesn't matter to sales and as the lawyer said, the FSF wouldn't want 
> to test the GPL against military contractors who have plenty of cash 
> and no sales to lose lest the GPL be struck down.
> (His words, not mine)
I would doubt that's the case. I know a few defense contracts and giving
the conditions that are part of them, most of them are Free Software by
requirement. But, as always, if you have evidence of such violation,
check http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html and e-mail
license-violation at gnu.org.

Yes, I've seen too many lawyers misunderstanding the GPL to the point
that they see a lot of violations where they don't exist.

João Miguel Neves <joao at silvaneves.org>
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