Re: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

From: linux-os \(Dick Johnson\)
Date: Mon Feb 19 2007 - 15:51:08 EST

On Mon, 19 Feb 2007, Michael K. Edwards wrote:

> On 2/19/07, Alan <alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> jurisdiction. Copyright infringement is a statutory tort, and the
>>> only limits to contracting away the right to sue for this tort are
>>> those provided in the copyright statute itself. A contract not to sue
>>> for tort is called a "license".)
>> I'd insert large quantities of "In the USA" in the above and probably
>> some "not what I've heard from a lawyer" cases.
> Name ANY counterexample in the entire history of copyright, anywhere
> in the world. I've sifted through the past couple of decades of US
> appellate history until I'm blue in the face, and reviewed Canadian
> and British and German and French and EU statutes and decisions, and
> read Nimmer on Copyright and Corbin on Contracts and historical
> analyses of copyright law going back to the Statute of Anne. And yes,
> I too have conversed with attorneys and other individuals with legal
> educations, in the US and Belgium and Brazil.
> You have been lied to. You have been hoodwinked. You have neglected
> to inform yourself about the simplest truths. The GPL is not a
> "copyright-based license", anywhere in the developed world. There.
> Is. No. Such. Thing.

FWIW. A license is NOT a contract in the United States, according to
contract law. A primary requirement of a contract is an agreement. A
contract cannot, therefore, be forced. Licenses, on the other hand,
can be forced upon the user of the licensed material.

A license is a document that states the conditions under which an
item may be used. A prerequisite of the licensor is that he/she/they
have a legal right to control the thing being licensed. When a licensed
item has its license modified by a party, not the original licensor,
it is quite possible that such attempts to control the item are
invalid (moot). Lawyers like this because it gives them work since
the final resolution of such a action can old be determined by a

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version on an i686 machine (5594.84 BogoMips).
New book:

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