Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Sematext Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linux.SYS-CON.com FEEDBACK: "The Copyleft/GPL Is Unequivocally a License"

"The GPL license has been scrutinized by the finest legal minds looking for loopholes and has still stood for over a decade."

  • Read Daniel Wallace's original Letter to the Editor
  • Read response to Daniel Wallace by Celia Santander Esq.

    Writing in refutation of Daniel Wallace's January 30 Letter to the Editor, David Mohring notes:

    1) The GPL License is a grant of rights, not a contract.
    2) Grants of rights do not require consideration.
    3) Federal copyright law trumps local state laws.

    "The flaw logic Daniel Wallace uses has been raised," observes Mohring, "and utterly refuted many times since it was first put forward over a DECADE ago."

    Mohring then adduces a Usenet thread from 1989-10-16 from which he quotes what he terms a "definitive reply" by Michael C. Berch, Member of the California Bar:

    "My analysis is as follows:

    1. The Copyleft/GPL is unequivocally a license. The concept of a license for copyrighted material is very well developed in copyright case law, and there is nothing about the Copyleft/GPL that would render it anything other than a license. There are many examples of public licenses for copyrighted material; most of them simply add terms such as requiring identification of the source of the material; forbidding changes except for personal use (i.e., reserving from the license the right to make derivate works); granting the right to copy for noncommercial use only, etc. There is nothing in copyright case law to suggest that these (public) licenses are invalid.

    2. Under copyright case law, there is no requirement that a license of copyright be supported by consideration (compensation). This is because it is not a contract but a grant of property rights. Contracts require consideration, but grants do not. This is an elementary and well-settled principle of property law.

    3. In the United States, the Copyright Act of 1976 pre-empts all state law that previously dealt with intellectual property rights in the matter subject to the Act (as defined in Sections 102 of the Act). This was the explicit intent of Congress and has been repeatedly upheld by the courts. Therefore, any pre-existing state law that purported to modify the nature or terms of a license of copyright would be pre-empted, and any subsequent state law that did likewise would be inoperative. In either case, I doubt if the state law would operate in any case to render the Copyleft/GPL unenforceable, because it is a grant and not a contract."

    Mohring continues. "Note that in the same post Michael C. Berch also states:"

    "I don't understand what Mr. Klossner means by "The copyleft is not a license, it is the terms of a 'publication' in the parlance of copyright law"; in copyright law, a work is either published or not published, and if the work is not published, much of the Act does not apply. However, there is no doubt that the GNU programs are published within the meaning of the Act (section 101), so I don't know what the concept of "terms" is supposed to refer to here. I have been a frequent critic of FSF and the political and philosophical underpinnings of Project GNU, and more recently of Richard Stallman's attempts to use publicly-funded networks for partisan political advocacy, but I find nothing in the GNU Public License that would render it unenforceable under copyright law or federal or state common law."
    -- Michael C. Berch
    Member of the California Bar
    [email protected] / uunet!tis.llnl.gov!mcb

    In summary, Mohring says: "The GPL license has been scrutinized by the finest legal minds looking for loopholes and has still stood for over a decade. Even Microsoft, for whom the GPL is such an anathema, distribute the GPL licensed GCC compiler toolchain with interix/SFU, have chosen to abide by the terms of the GPL rather than to challenge it in court."

  • More Stories By Linux News Desk

    SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

    Comments (28)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

    IoT & Smart Cities Stories
    Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
    At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
    Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
    OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
    The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
    After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
    Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
    The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
    With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...