Subject: Re: Fiduciary limitations
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 16:40:01 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Bruce" == Bruce Perens <> writes:

    Bruce> From: Brian Bartholomew <>

    >> What legal mechanisms exist to constrain future actions of a
    >> business against its profit motive?  How can a software
    >> business prove to consumers that the terms and business values
    >> they like today will be applied in the future, even if the
    >> company is sold to new management?

    Bruce> Contracts.

I don't think vendor-customer contracts address what Brian is
concerned about.  Brian wants to extend the guarantee that GPL gives
that non-copyright holders can't add proprietary extensions to a work
to copyright holders.  That you cannot contract, I think, except by
basically assigning the copyright to the customer or to a third party.

    Bruce> The problem is that customers have not learned to insist on
    Bruce> good contracts from their vendors.

    Bruce> One of the reasons that we are _so_ concerned with
    Bruce> licenses, is because they encode just this sort of
    Bruce> contract.

Hear, hear!

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