Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Aug 2007 21:37 UTC
Novell and Ximian In the wake of last week's ruling that Novell, and not SCO, controls the copyrights covering UNIX, Novell is reassuring Unix users that it has no plans to follow in SCO's footsteps. Given that the company is no longer in the business of selling UNIX, it has no reason to pursue any copyright claims.
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dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

It is perpetual for the SOFTWARE released under GPL.

If I acquire the SOFTWARE from you under the GPL you cannot later tell me that you have changed the license for me. The moment I receive it under the GPL my copy stays under the GPL as long as I abide by the license. You cannot revoke it unless I violate the GPL license. You can however decide to stop distributing it under the GPL for the future incl. older releases.

You can at any given time change the license (also for older versions) but not for those who have already received a copy of the SOFTWARE.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

If I acquire the software from you under the GPL you cannot later tell me that you have changed the license for me.


Yes, you can. Without specific language in the agreement forbidding it (specific language that all versions of the GPL have lacked), anyone can withdraw from any legal agreement at any time -- including licensing out materials. This is not something that a specific license must grant you, but an innate right (as common sense tells you). (Even if the GPL, any license that forbids you from withdrawing from the agreement would not be considered legally binding in many jurisdictions -- it would be asking someone to sign away something they cannot sign away.)

For example: Microsoft could, at any moment, decide to end all their current license agreements and tell us to stop using Windows. It'd be corporate suicide, and they'd probably be carved to small ribbons by lawyers claiming all sorts of damages, but it's within their power to do so.

For another example: Anyone who has contributed code to the Linux kernel could change the license it may be used under at any time. No matter how much the armchair laywers at Groklaw and Slashdot complain, unless the Linux kernel maintainers got an easily bribed judge to preside over the case, they would be forced to comply with the contributor's new license terms or cease use of that contributor's code. It'd probably get the contributor threatened and harmed in various ways by the more radical members of the Linux community, but it'd be all within their rights.

Edited 2007-08-17 06:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

All versions of the GPL prevents changing the license for those who have already received the software under the GPL and it clearly states so.

You are EITHER spreading lies right now OR spreading bullshit because you don't know better.

The GPL has always prevented changing the license for those who have acquired the software under the GPL.

It is a perpetual license and it clearly states so.

BTW: Microsoft can only change the license at any given time because the license agreement says so. If the license agreement did not clearly state Microsoft has the right to change the license at any given momemt, then Microsoft would not have such a right. Microsoft is in its EULA reserving the right to change the license at any given time. However, the GPL does not allow for such a thing. It is perpetual just like the GNU Free Documentation License which Wikipedia is using.

Your legal understanding is embarrassingly flawed.

Edited 2007-08-17 08:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I want to add:

If an agreement has no time limit then it is unlimited in time. All agreements are perpetual unless otherwise stated.

That's why the MS EULA contains a provision for Microsoft to change the license and the license agreement at any given time - and that's why most agreements contain a provision for annulling the agreement with a prior notice. In Denmark for an instance an agreement for renting an apartment will typically contain a provision for annulling the agreement with a prior notice of 3 months.

Your statement about Linux is nonsens. The moment something is licensed under the GPL you cannot revoke it for those who have already received the software under the GPL. It is a perpetual license, and it clearly states so. All agreements are perpetual unless otherwise stated. If it has no time limit it has no time limit and you cannot get out of it without breaking the agreement (Breech of Agreement) in which case you ass will most likely be sued to pieces.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

unless the Linux kernel maintainers got an easily bribed judge to preside over the case, they would be forced to comply with the contributor's new license terms or cease use of that contributor's code.


This is in one way correct. No-one is forced to license new code any one way or another. If a Linux kernel contributor suddenly decided their new code was to be proprietary licensed, then indeed the Linux kernel devs would cease to accept new contributions from that person.

Doesn't mean squat for any previous contributions however ... they would still be released under GPL, and the Linux kernel could still use them and redistribute the whole kernel under the GPL.

It'd probably get the contributor threatened and harmed in various ways by the more radical members of the Linux community, but it'd be all within their rights.


Harmed? That is FUD and/or malicious lying pure & simple.

Firstly, it is very difficult to get your code accepted into the Linux kernel ... not the other way around ... it isn't as though Linux is desperate for contributions or anything. If any contributor was getting difficult to relate with, it would simply become a case of "so long, and thanks for all the fish".

In fact, there was a case like this recently with the "CK" scheduler vs the CFS scheduler. The kernel lost a talented contributor, but que sera, life moves on ... and so on. Anyone "come to harm?" ... hardly.

Edited 2007-08-17 13:32

Reply Parent Score: 2