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

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Aug 26 20:04:55 UTC 2003

On Tue, 2003-08-26 at 19:24, edA-qa mort-ora-y wrote:
> > The GPL isn't a covenant between two individuals, therefore isn't a
> > contract. I'm fairly sure that's the standard/intended thinking.
> This is where, as I mentioned, contract law starts to become fuzzy from 
> country to country.

This isn't anything to do with contract law; it's purely copyright law.
From the Copyright Act,

        "The owner of the copyright in any work may assign the right,
        either wholly or partially, and either generally or subject to
        limitations relating to territory, medium or sector of the
        market or other limitations relating to the scope of the
        assignment, ..., and may grant any interest in the right by
        licence, but no assignment or grant is valid unless it is in
        writing signed by the owner of the right in respect of which the
        assignment or grant is made, or by the owner's duly authorized

	13.4, "Assignment and licences"

Copyright law explicitly allows the creation of licences, encompassing
any of the rights given by the law, with any limitations on the scope of
the licence. It also notes the grant of licence is not valid without the
owner of the right endorsing it - hence my point that if SCO's code is
in Linux, it is not endorsed and therefore is a breach of copyright.

Canadian law does not view this as a contract. Contract law is therefore
irrelevant. I think that also renders your contract-based arguments
irrelevant, since you're talking about the GPL as the contract. Contract
law will definitely come into this argument, however, the contract in
question will be that between SCO and IBM.



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