DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2003-11
Re: SCO after BSD settlement
In article <3FC2ED20.2060500@xxxxxxxxx>,
Gary Thorpe <gathorpe79@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Lets say you write a small software program and you put it under the BSD
> license. Someone downloads your program, likes it very much and lifts
> large chunks of it into a new program which they then put under the GPL.
> You, when surfing the net, find this program and it's similar enough to
> your own that you download it and try it out. You like it and submit
> some patches that are incorporated. Later on after looking at more of
> the code, you discover that this person has illegally lifted your code
> because no where in the code/docs is your copyright notice. Does this
> mean you have authorized what the person did? You have a copy and
> submitted patches/modifications under the GPL. What do you think?
Redistributing the GPLed code before you notice it actually violates
your copyright shouldn't (as in morally, I don't know about legally)
invalidate your claim on it.
You can make an argument in this case that you were tricked into
doing it and fraud normally invalidates a contract.
If you notice the violation and continue to distribute it I think things
are different. At that point you know something has gone wrong, and
that on the face of it at least distributing the package that includes
unattributed bits of your code would give people rights to it. It would
be prudent to stop distributing it when you notice the violation.
In this case you can't make the argument that you were tricked into
sending it, you *knew*. You would have to argue somehow that while
you knew the price redistribution asked (which is to allow others
to redistribute) that somehow you be exempt because of some prior acts
A court may or may not see it the same way (after all I'm not a lawyer,
I only had a high school law class, and that was long enough ago that
I have forgotten most of it!).
> If you license code (e.g. by making modifiations to a GPLed program) and
> find out it orginally belonged to you later, does that mean you gave it
> away? How? You would probably say that the relicensing was unauthorized
> and invalid in the first place, regardless of your first impressions.
Sure, but what about the months SCO was distributing Linux (with whatever
code they deemed to be improperly taken from them) after they noticed
that the code was in there? Not a few hours, not a few days, but months.
Not speaking for anyone but meself...in fact maybe not even that!