Getting grubby with ZFS - GPLv2 or later legality
Posted Dec 13, 2010 9:16 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata
In reply to: Getting grubby with ZFS - GPLv2 or later legality
Parent article: Getting grubby with ZFS
You don't say where you think I'm mistaken. Are you saying you believe the legal doctrines of ex post facto and grandfathering apply to the issue of a "GPLv2 or later" clause in a copyright license?
I intentionally did not use the term "law" in my response.
The only place I have ever seen the terms "ex post facto" and "grandfathering" used is with respect to law, so if you meant them some other way, you're right -- my response is completely inapplicable and in fact I can't respond.
I accept your view of all law as a contract. In that case, the criminal punishment part of that contract includes ex post facto restrictions -- we've agreed not to punish each other for things we did before we said it was wrong. But I don't know what that view of law has to do with applying those concepts to copyright.
A license is an offer of a
"right to use," generally being bound by some terms. These terms form a
You're confusing licenses and contracts too much. They really are distinct. First of all, replace "offer" with "grant". A contract is an offer and acceptance, but a license is just a grant. It's a one-way thing and there is no agreement involved. It is binding only on the licensor.
Some experts believe that in the matter of a GPL distribution of software, there is a contract (and some don't). But even they don't confuse the contract with the license. The license is something that one of the parties to the contract gives the other, as one term of the contract.
The terms of a license may change, at which point
the licensee may opt not to agree to those changes, thus losing their
It doesn't work that way. Once a license is granted, it's granted. The permissions and conditions in it can't change. Of course, they can have a lot of variability built into them, like "this permission exists until licensor changes his mind." But they don't change.
And my point was that if a condition is too variable a court may find it invalid and read it out of the license, but the court will accept a lot of variability. (and again, I'm applying contract principles because I don't really know copyright law, but I know much of contract law is applied to copyright licenses).
I (Oracle), say "you can redistribute it" as long as you agree to GPL2
Again, you don't agree to GPL2. You actually perform the conditions of it, and then you can redistribute.
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