Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law

Category: Programming
Author: Lawrence Rosen
3.6
This Month Reddit 3

Comments

by selandro2   2019-08-24

Is that why his paper refuting the idea that the GPL is revocable has not materialized in 6 months?

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Is Moglen more learned about the law than Lawrence Rosen, Sapna Kumar, and David McGowan?

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https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/faculty_scholarship/1857/

https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=243237

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It's always argument from ignorance with you people.

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Tell me where is the promised paper from Moglen refuting the above? Tell me. Why did it never materialize?

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TELL ME YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT.

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I need you to inform me, how obeying a pre-existing legal duty is valid consideration. Tell me. Explain it. I need you to inform me how NOTHING:ZERO:FREE is valid consideration. Can you. I need you to enlighten me as to how Illusory Promises are now enforceable suddenly in the USA.

by ossobsv   2019-08-24

I'm a licensed attorney, I know what I'm talking about. Here have a read if you don't believe me:

https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/faculty_scholarship/1857/

https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=243237

You'll noticed that no licensed attorney is claiming that the GPL is irrevocable from free-takers. The most you'll get, if you pay attention, is highly couched statements. There is a reason they have a non-attorney making the blatant "GPL is irrevocable" statements: those statements are not legally defensible - they can claim the non-lawyer is not an expert in his field however.

Free licenses are revocable. They are not mutually binding agreements: they are simply permission from the copyright owner; permission that can be revocated at the copyright owner's pleasure.

"I agree to... get the thing I'm trying to contract for" is not valid consideration.

Free is not valid consideration.

Nothing is not valid consideration.

"I won't violate your copyright and will instead abide by the limitations in the license text" is not valid consideration.

You do not have a pre-existing Right to violate the copyright owners copyright. You are not giving anything up when you "agree" to these lesser restrictions (down from "you are not allowed to do anything"): you are gaining permissions.

by ossobsv   2019-08-24

"If you dare speak about a subject we dislike, we will have you disbarred" Very convincing counter-argument. Yes, your side constantly threatens me with disbarment. My legal theory is sound, however, and I am not looking for clients. I just want the programmers to know their rights so they do not get "CoC"'d

Here are 3 attorneys who do give their names and in their writing come to similar conclusions: The GPL is revocable from the free-taker. >>https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/faculty_scholarship/1857/ >>https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876 >>https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=243237

by mikeeusa   2019-07-21

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David McGowan Esq. made a correct statement of the law:

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>David McGowan, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School:

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>"Termination of rights

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>[...] The most plausible assumption is that a developer who releases code under the GPL may terminate GPL rights, probably at will.

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>[...] My point is not that termination is a great risk, it is that it is not recognized as a risk even though it is probably relevant to commercial end-users, accustomed to having contractual rights they can enforce themselves.

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Lawrence Rosen Esq. got it right the first time:

( https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876 )

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>p46 "As long as the project continues to honor the terms of the licenses under which it recieved contributions, the licenses continue in effect. There is one important caveat: Even a perpetual license can be revoked. See the discussion of bare licenses and contracts in Chapter 4"

--Lawrence Rosen

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>p56 "A third problem with bare licenses is that they may be revocable by the licensor. Specifically, /a license not coupled with an interest may be revoked./ The term /interest/ in this context usually means the payment of some royalty or license fee, but there are other more complicated ways to satisfy the interest requirement. For example, a licensee can demonstrate that he or she has paid some consideration-a contract law term not found in copyright or patent law-in order to avoid revocation. Or a licensee may claim that he or she relied on the software licensed under an open source license and now is dependent upon that software, but this contract law concept, called promissory estoppel, is both difficult to prove and unreliable in court tests. (The concepts of /consideration/ and /promissory estoppel/ are explained more fully in the next section.) Unless the courts allow us to apply these contract law principles to a license, we are faced with a bare license that is revocable.

--Lawrence Rosen

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>p278 "Notice that in a copyright dispute over a bare license, the plaintiff will almost certainly be the copyright owner. If a licensee were foolish enough to sue to enforce the terms and conditions of the license, the licensor can simply revoke the bare license, thus ending the dispute. Remeber that a bare license in the absence of an interest is revocable."

--Lawrence Rosen

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Lawrence Rosen - Open Source Licensing - Sofware Freedom and Intellectual property Law

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>p65 "Of all the licenses descibed in this book, only the GPL makes the explicity point that it wants nothing of /acceptance/ of /consideration/:

>...

>The GPL authors intend that it not be treated as a contract. I will say much more about this license and these two provisions in Chapter 6. For now, I simply point out that the GPL licensors are in essentially the same situation as other open source licensors who cannot prove offer, acceptance, or consideration. There is no contract."

--Lawrence Rosen

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by LtGerome   2019-07-21

I am an actual lawyer.

In the USA a license is revocable absent an interest. An interest generally means you paid for the license, are in a contract with the grantor (paid good consideration for the license) etc. You can "retroactively" rescind the GPL from a non-paying licensee. They use your property at your /pleasure/. ("Retroactively" is used colloquially here: their past non-infringing actions are not suddenly infringing, their future actions using the same code would be since you have rescinded their license)

Your "understanding" is wishful thinking and is wrong. Your /game plan/ is to throw yourself on the mercy of the court and beg them not to enforce the owners legal rights under an equitable defense (Basically "It's not fair!"). You can do this in virtually any licensor-licensee case, and it IS attempted in virtually every such case where the licensee doesn't have a leg to stand on legally.

(Things are different in non-US jurisdictions, so the second option of "defense" is that violators host outside of the US: where hosts simply do not care about US law)

But don't take my word for it. Take the word of some lawyers who attach their actual name:

( https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876 ) >p46 "As long as the project continues to honor the terms of the licenses under which it recieved contributions, the licenses continue in effect. There is one important caveat: Even a perpetual license can be revoked. See the discussion of bare licenses and contracts in Chapter 4" --Lawrence Rosen

>p56 "A third problem with bare licenses is that they may be revocable by the licensor. Specifically, /a license not coupled with an interest may be revoked./ The term /interest/ in this context usually means the payment of some royalty or license fee, but there are other more complicated ways to satisfy the interest requirement. For example, a licensee can demonstrate that he or she has paid some consideration-a contract law term not found in copyright or patent law-in order to avoid revocation. Or a licensee may claim that he or she relied on the software licensed under an open source license and now is dependent upon that software, but this contract law concept, called promissory estoppel, is both difficult to prove and unreliable in court tests. (The concepts of /consideration/ and /promissory estoppel/ are explained more fully in the next section.) Unless the courts allow us to apply these contract law principles to a license, we are faced with a bare license that is revocable. --Lawrence Rosen

>p278 "Notice that in a copyright dispute over a bare license, the plaintiff will almost certainly be the copyright owner. If a licensee were foolish enough to sue to enforce the terms and conditions of the license, the licensor can simply revoke the bare license, thus ending the dispute. Remeber that a bare license in the absence of an interest is revocable." --Lawrence Rosen

Lawrence Rosen - Open Source Licensing - Sofware Freedom and Intellectual property Law

>p65 "Of all the licenses descibed in this book, only the GPL makes the explicity point that it wants nothing of /acceptance/ of /consideration/: >... >The GPL authors intend that it not be treated as a contract. I will say much more about this license and these two provisions in Chapter 6. For now, I simply point out that the GPL licensors are in essentially the same situation as other open source licensors who cannot prove offer, acceptance, or consideration. There is no contract." --Lawrence Rosen


>David McGowan, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School:

>"Termination of rights

>[...] The most plausible assumption is that a developer who releases code under the GPL may terminate GPL rights, probably at will.

>[...] My point is not that termination is a great risk, it is that it is not recognized as a risk even though it is probably relevant to commercial end-users, accustomed to having contractual rights they can enforce themselves.

by LtGerome   2019-07-21

Not meritless. If they wish to be sued they can ignore it. The GPL is revocable in cases where there is no attached interest (such as here). This goes for much of the linux-kernel code aswell.

>Presumably they checked with their lawyers, who decided it was meritless guff from some crappy little troll, and chose to ignore it. That would be my instinct too.

Go and FUCK yourself. Your instinct is wrong. You don't know what the FUCK you are talking about when it comes to law. I do (I am a licensed attorney. )

Where does your "instinct" come from? Have you done even an hour of legal study? No? Then how about you SHUT your FUCKING mouth? Your uneducated lay opinion is WORTHLESS.

( https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intellectual/dp/0131487876 ) >p46 "As long as the project continues to honor the terms of the licenses under which it recieved contributions, the licenses continue in effect. There is one important caveat: Even a perpetual license can be revoked. See the discussion of bare licenses and contracts in Chapter 4" --Lawrence Rosen

>p56 "A third problem with bare licenses is that they may be revocable by the licensor. Specifically, /a license not coupled with an interest may be revoked./ The term /interest/ in this context usually means the payment of some royalty or license fee, but there are other more complicated ways to satisfy the interest requirement. For example, a licensee can demonstrate that he or she has paid some consideration-a contract law term not found in copyright or patent law-in order to avoid revocation. Or a licensee may claim that he or she relied on the software licensed under an open source license and now is dependent upon that software, but this contract law concept, called promissory estoppel, is both difficult to prove and unreliable in court tests. (The concepts of /consideration/ and /promissory estoppel/ are explained more fully in the next section.) Unless the courts allow us to apply these contract law principles to a license, we are faced with a bare license that is revocable. --Lawrence Rosen

>p278 "Notice that in a copyright dispute over a bare license, the plaintiff will almost certainly be the copyright owner. If a licensee were foolish enough to sue to enforce the terms and conditions of the license, the licensor can simply revoke the bare license, thus ending the dispute. Remeber that a bare license in the absence of an interest is revocable." --Lawrence Rosen

Lawrence Rosen - Open Source Licensing - Sofware Freedom and Intellectual property Law

>p65 "Of all the licenses descibed in this book, only the GPL makes the explicity point that it wants nothing of /acceptance/ of /consideration/: >... >The GPL authors intend that it not be treated as a contract. I will say much more about this license and these two provisions in Chapter 6. For now, I simply point out that the GPL licensors are in essentially the same situation as other open source licensors who cannot prove offer, acceptance, or consideration. There is no contract." --Lawrence Rosen


>David McGowan, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School:

>"Termination of rights

>[...] The most plausible assumption is that a developer who releases code under the GPL may terminate GPL rights, probably at will.

>[...] My point is not that termination is a great risk, it is that it is not recognized as a risk even though it is probably relevant to commercial end-users, accustomed to having contractual rights they can enforce themselves.

by marcolinuxlover   2019-01-23
PJ was and is a paralegal. She doesn't know what the fuck she is talking about (same with you). She's reading from "Copyright Litigation Handbook" on westlaw. She reads about the irrevocability of commercial copyright license contracts. The reason those are non-revocable outside of the terms is because ///THEY WERE PAID FOR///. You BOUGHT the terms. You BOUGHT the "this is the way we revoke the license" term. That is what you are purchasing. Security.

Nice source though. I cite the man who wrote the /book/ on opensource litigation, who you can look up and is a lawyer (since you won't believe me), and you cite some paralegal who immediately stopped talking once she was outed (because she was wrong and perhaps using company time to run up bills on westlaw).

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Again, citing an article from a rag that cites PJ the paralegal. ( Try this instead: https://www.amazon.com/Open-Source-Licensing-Software-Intell... )