Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 02:21:50 -0700

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> If this argument is correct, the GNU Project may as well close up
> shop.  
Far from it.   Rather, the FSF could use a better lawyer.

> The argument works just as well for patents, so nobody has the
> right to distribute software received under the GPL.
>
>   
It absolutely does not.    The crucial difference is that patent 
infringement
does not require a chain of disclosure that leads back to a secret.  If you
seriously want to maintain that extremely bogus position, let's please have
a few rounds off-list and then present either our agreement or remaining
disagreement to the list.


> However, I don't think it is correct.  The law does not forbid you
> (except in certain circumstances, such as if you are a policeman or
> selling insurance against theft) from making promises which you can
> keep only if you assume that all parties will keep their promises.
> That's why the government enforces contracts, for example, so that the
> parties have to worry about it only to a limited extent.
>
>   
That makes no nevermind for this analysis.  Innocent third parties can 
receive
distributions of the modified program, be notified by the Trade Secret 
"owner",
and lose their GPLed rights -- all without anyone breaking any promise.  One
still, therefore, has no right to distribute a GPLed program under the 
kind of
NDA we are discussing.

-t