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Re: Another GPL violation: Re: Minimalistic Build-Environmentforwin32 (~7.5MB)

Randall R Schulz <rrschulz at cris dot com> writes:

> Pat,
> At 09:36 2003-03-25, Patrick J. LoPresti wrote:
> >Charles Wilson <cwilson at ece dot gatech dot edu> writes:
> >
> > > FWIW: I am not a lawyer.
> >
> >And therefore, everything you have said may be safely ignored.
> Et tu?

I require neither qualifications nor evidence to argue that an
activity is legal; all I need is to show that you lack either.  In the
U.S., we call this "presumption of innocence".  The burden of proof is
yours, not mine.

Put another way, I do not need to be an expert in a subject to point
out that someone else is not an expert either.

> That's not quite correct. It's certainly true that lawyers and the
> law use an argot that readily confuses lay people and perhaps
> confuses engineers more than most. However, you characterize the
> semantics of a contract or license agreement as completely unrelated
> to the words used to express that meaning. I don't accept
> that. Civil courts resolve issues of intent and meaning of an
> agreement when the parties to it find themselves at odds over its
> interpretation.

You may think you know what a law means, but if a court should
disagree, then you are wrong BY DEFINITION.  The actual text matters
only insofar as it affects how a court decides.  There may typically
be a close relationship between what you believe a law says and what
the court decides, but should that relationship falter, the error is
yours and not the court's; this is again by definition.

My main point is that an engineer has as much business interpreting
law as a salesperson has telling an engineer how to design a system.

> > I hope everyone cheerfully ignores all these accusations of "GPL
> > violations" and proceeds exactly as they have been.  I also hope
> > the people making these accusations find better things to do with
> > their time, but I admit to being pessimistic.
> Do you also wish upon them that cease-and-desist order?

I am saying they should not waste time trying to comply with these
silly requests until they are ordered to do so.  It would be no worse
for them to comply after the C&D order than before; there is no cost
to them in waiting for it.

> Are you a libertarian? Do what thou wilst? Greed is good? Amoralism
> and anarchy for all?

I have some libertarian leanings, but actually, I am quite fond of law
and order.  I just dislike seeing specious legal arguments applied in
detrimental ways.

At issue here are people who distribute something for free along with
Cygwin.  They include full credit and links to the Cygwin source code,
which is mirrored on dozens of sites.  This may not comply with the
letter of the GPL, but it surely complies with the spirit, so why not
leave them alone?

These people are contributing something to the world, only to have a
bunch of ninnies harrass them, claiming their actions are analogous to
running traffic lights on the way to work.  This is absurd, and it
contributes nothing to the general good.

 - Pat

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