Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Sep 2009 14:01 UTC
Legal In France, the GPL has scored yet another major win in court. What makes this infringements case special is that it was filed not by the developers of the infringed-upon code, but by users, demonstrating that they, too, can successfully enforce the GPL. Since I noted on a few threads here on OSNews that a lot of people still fail to grasp the difference between an open source license and an EULA, I figured I'd take this opportunity to explain the difference one more time - using hand-crafted diagrams!
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The point that I have repeatedly tried to make is that, both the GPL and EULA are the same type of thing, using the same legal mechanism. Both are conditional licenses for use (and in, in the GPL's case, distribution and modification) of software, with enforcement substantially provided through a copyright regime. The fact that the GPL is a permissive license doesn't make it any less a software license.

But they aren't using the same mechanism. An EULA relies on it being intepreted as a contract that must be agreed to - EULAs purport to restrict user actions that would otherwise be legal.

This is not something you can just make a statement on and have it binding under the law.

The 'A' in 'EULA' is pretty important here. The GPL is not an agreement.

The GPL is nothing more than an iron-clad defense against copyright action by the licensor - there is nothing in the GPL that requires acceptance, it is only a statement of permission you can assume the author has granted, and only as valid as the authors own claims to the covered work.

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