[jdom-interest] Imcompatibility with GPL

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Mon Oct 2 04:10:47 PDT 2006

Jason Hunter wrote:

> An FSF lawyer posting that organization's postion is nice but doesn't 
> resolve the issue.  Based on my understanding of how the legal system 
> works, the lawyer who writes a license doesn't have special rights to 
> interpret the license text.
> (Although an organization's statement concerning the license for their 
> own intellectual property may be used as evidence in a lawsuit.)

The first paragraph sort the second. The statements of an organization's 
official spokesperson certainly do carry more weight than the statement 
of you or me.

Of course, it's a problem that the law, unlike code, most be interpreted 
by human beings; and you can never be certain what any judge might do on 
the wrong day. However that applies to *ALL* licenses: GPL. LGPL, 
Apache, shrinkwrap, etc. If that possibility really bothers you so much, 
then you can't release software under a license at all. In fact, you 
probably can't do business, since contracts are subject to judicial whim 
as well. We have to the best we can, and move forward.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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