Re: Article: IBM wants to "clean up the license" of Linux

C S Hendrix (
Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:41:30 -0500

In message <>, David Feuer

> This message is _recommended_ by the FSF. If you want version 2, say
> version 2. If you want version 1, say version 1 (highly unlikely). If
> you want the user to take his pick, say "or any later version".

...and that's cool. I'm not sure why I was thinking the other way.
But yeah, I realize I can issue whatever license I want.

I still say that if you DO put in that paragraph, it can't be right.
It's licensing software by terms that don't yet exist.

I've talked to a lawyer about this over a similar issue regarding a
company guidbook the employees had to sign. In the contract it said
you agreed to the rules in the handbook, plus any future versions.

According to a lawyer contacted, the bottom line was that you
cannot sign, license, or contract on unknown terms... meaning you
cannot legally agree to terms that are not known at the time or
to changes in those terms. Each new guidebook would have to be
individually signed.

I'm wondering if a license wouldn't be about the same. If v3
comes out I don't think it would hope up in court if an author
didn't like the v3 license and decided to back out. For example,
in another thread people were talking about the FSF going rotten
and releasing a nasty v3.

In any case, I still say it will be interesting to see this go to
court because I think the court will put new twists on things we
won't think of.

I had jury duty two months ago and sat in on a few cases, some
involving things like this, and I was simply amazed at how some
things went. Lawyers are wierd...

Shannon - - InfiNet?
"When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows', people just
stare at you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system,
*for free*'." -- Linus Torvalds

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