Subject: Re: Fwd: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 18:02:24 +0900

>>>>> "La" == La Monte H P Yarroll <piggy@timesys.com> writes:

    La> 2. This is one of several references I've run into on the site
    La> to "legal liability risks".  Am I reading in too much to say
    La> that this is exploiting some anti-FLOSS FUD about legal
    La> liability surrounding contributions to FLOSS?

Yes.  IANAL, but when you contribute for no compensation to FLOSS, the
disclaimer of ALL warrantees has some effect.  You're probably still
liable for contributing to an attractive nuisance, but since nobody
has managed to sue Microsoft for Outhouse Excess, I guess you don't
have to worry about that.  If you are involved in a profit-making
venture like Avalanche, on the other hand, I think a court would say
attempts to disclaim the implied warrantees are void.

    La> 3. They appear to be forking gforge, and possibly other GPLd
    La> code.  This is obviously permitted by the GPL.  It's pretty
    La> clear they are operating under pure clause 3a, giving source
    La> code to every binary recipient, thus relieving themselves of
    La> the burden of publishing their changes to the world.

There is no such burden, not legally, and not in practice, either---I
expect there will be a scandal in short order in which somebody "outs"
that code and gets fired by their employer for that breach of
contract.  :-)

I really don't understand this point of view, anyway.  But this is not
the time (although in the ast it ahs been the place ;-).

-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.