Subject: Re: get ready...
From: Paul Nathan Puri <publisher@ompages.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 23:24:47 -0700 (PDT)

The right to contract is a constitutional one (any lawyers out there
 correct me if I'm wrong).
 
 To say a license may be copyrighted pits one constitutional mandate
 against another.  This is not permissible.
 
 One can write one's license in any manner one wishes.  
 
 The force behind the GPL is not a legal one; it is a social/political one.
 
 Of course one who borrows the GPL to license one's own code would bind
 licensees to the terms of the GPL.  So in that sense it is legal in
 nature.  But as an example of a license it is merely another hypothetical
 legal form document.
 
 I wouldn't copy anything verbatim, however.  That invites criticisms that
 are not necessary.  One can borrow the spirit of the document in its
 entirety with careful drafting.  Copying is rarely necessary (except for
 the software notion of copying).
 
 NatePuri
 Certified Law Student
 & Debian GNU/Linux Monk
 McGeorge School of Law
 publisher@ompages.com
 http://ompages.com
 
> On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, R. L. Kleeberger wrote:
> 
> > Quoting Derek J. Balling (dredd@megacity.org):
> > > At 11:29 PM 4/14/99 -0400, R. L. Kleeberger wrote:
> > > >There is no reason anymore.  I was still unsure whether the GNU GPL was able
> > > >to be legally modified into another license.  It seems it is legal,
> > > 
> > > According to the license it is not. According to the instructions at the
> > > top, the license may be copied verbatim, but it may NOT be altered.
> > > 
> > > Since excerption can be defined in terms of alteration, you cannot even
> > > excerpt 90% of it (with 9% being the part you don't want, and 1% being the
> > > title) since that's an alteration of both omission and change.
> > 
> > Yes.  I would very much like for someone with legal experience who is
> > familiar with the GPL to step in so we can come to a conclusion on the
> > legality of copying/modifying the GNU GPL.  We have conflicting posts, and I
> > can't proceed until this is cleared up.
> > 
> > > >therefore I don't have much of a buttress accept a philosophical one.  And
> > > >this list is ot for philosophical discussion.
> > > 
> > > Agreed, and we have to clearly define the direction we want to go. I think
> > > that licenses should be able to be copied in whole or part, which the
> > > current GPL explicitly forbid.
> > 
> > I will have to think on this.  I am an extremely strong proponent of the GNU
> > GPL, and would like to see all open source licenses created to be GPL
> > compatible.  On the other hand, I believe a developer should have the
> > freedom to create a license to fit his needs(with his user's freedoms in mind).
> > 
> > > >> >But, which is the lesser crime.  To damage an sacrifice an individual's
> > > >> >freedom for the benefit of the people at large?  Or to sacrifice the
> > > >> >people's freedom in benefit of the individual?
> > > >> You probably would also support random search and seizure of peoples'
> > > >> homes, since it is better to sacrifice the individual's freedom for the
> > > >> benefit of the people at large. 
> > > >No, I do not.
> > > 
> > > Your argument would support that. Can you define what makes the cases
> > > different? Philosophically they are identical as far as I can tell.
> > 
> > No, they are not identical.  Random search and seizures violate the freedoms
> > of the public at large, not just one individual.  Preserving the freedoms of
> > the public at large by sacrificing the freedom of one individual does not.
> > 
> > > I think a discussion like this should be out in the open. If the list-owner
> > > wants to deem it off-topic, I'm sure that they'll say something (unless
> > > you're the list-owner *grin*)
> > 
> > Can the list-owner comment?  There is nothing I hate more that off-topic threads.
> > 
> > -- 
> > rlk@cinternet.net
> > http://www.cinternet.net/~rlk
> > "Sworn word may strengthen the quaking heart"--Gimli LotR Book 2
> > 
> 
>