Free software Germany GPL

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Wed Jul 2 11:15:32 UTC 2003

 || On Wed, 02 Jul 2003 12:50:54 +0200
 || Onno Timmerman <onno.timmerman at> wrote: 

 ot> On Slashdot it stated that in Germany GPL isn't legal. 
 ot> Is this true?


The study they are referring to was paid by the VSI, a lobbying group
for proprietary software and it is clearly based on very weak
understanding of Free Software.

It for instance claims the SCSL was an "accepted Free Software
license" and makes the typical beginners mistake of confusing Free
Software, Shareware and Freeware.

There is a lot of better-researched studies clearly coming to the
conclusion that the GPL is valid even if the clauses regarding
warranty and liability are replaced by standard rulings due to German
customer protection laws.

There will probably be some public statements about it soon.

One would wish that Slashdot had investigated the story before
publishing it or at least asked someone who knew about the issues.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
GNU Business Network                        (
Brave GNU World	                           (
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