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Re: GPLv3

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Dave Korn wrote:
>>  If IMHO, the GPLv3 does comply with the
>> definition as published at the provided URL, who says I need to wait for
>> the OSI to actually certify it as such?
>   You don't, as long as you are confident that the licensors will concur with
> your MHO.  Well, technically, you don't have to wait for anything ever: this
> is a civil matter, there are no restraining injunctions, it would be up to RH
> legal to decide whether they felt GPLv3 complies, in which case they wouldn't
> sue your, or whether they felt it doesn't, in which case they would have the
> option of suing you, in the event of which it would then still be up to a
> court to decide whether the standards by which they have adjudged whether it
> 'complies' or not are reasonable under the standards by which civil contracts
> are judged, and hence enforcable, or not, and hence not.  Herein lies both
> your security - they don't /have/ to sue you if they don't want to, even if
> something you do doesn't technically live up to the word of the license,
> because they are at liberty to decide for themselves if it 'complies' or note
> - and also your risk, because none of it is defined with mathematical rigour,
> there is an element of judgement to all the phraseology used, and it's a
> matter of contract law.  Note very importantly the difference between whether
> X 'complies with' Y, which is a subjective judgement, and whether X is
> *certified as* Y, which is a matter of fact or not according to the decision
> of the relevant certifying body.

While wrt GPLv3 software I agree that this is purely hypothetical and
certainly soon to be moot (when OSI certifies GPLv3), one could conceive
another case which would be relevant and possibly damaging to RH:

1) 3PP distributes clearly non-FOSS software depending on Cygwin (either
w/o Cygwin itself or with Cygwin and sources).

2) RH sues 3PP for violation of Cygwin license.

3) Defendant successfully argues that "complies with" != "certified",
and continues with elaborate explanation how his license supposedly
complies with OSI definition.

4) Court (or, worse yet, uneducated, uninformed, layman jury) falls for
defendant's hot air.

While I'm certain RH has excellent lawyers and this argument would be
well fought, this "subjective judgement", as you put it, could make this
problematic, or just unnecessary difficult (and expensive) at best.


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