GPL and foreign laws
Posted Dec 4, 2003 16:05 UTC (Thu) by emk
In reply to: The GPL Is a License, not a Contract
Parent article: The GPL Is a License, not a Contract
Hmmm. I'm not a lawyer, but I can see several potential issues here.
The GPL is a license under copyright law. Because of various treaties, copyright law tends to be fairly similar in most countries.
The GPL is a unilateral permission--it simply allows you to do something you would not normally be allowed to do. Therefore, if the GPL is invalid in a given country, it's probably technically illegal to distribute GPL'd software at all. In this way, the GPL is a lot stronger than Microsoft's EULA in many jurisdictions.
It's also possible that a country might have different laws about how invalid licenses are handled, or what consitutes an implicit contract. So it's not clear-cut.
Now, it's not worth any US author's time to sue in Russian courts anyway. Maybe in Europe (or possibly Japan).
Anyway, this is just my random thoughts. Hire a lawyer if you need legal advice.
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