[clug] sec: unclassified - Samba Team, on SCO and sweet irony

Darren Freeman daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au
Mon Aug 25 12:52:57 EST 2003

On Mon, 2003-08-25 at 10:25, Martin Pool wrote:
> On 25 Aug 2003 10:06:56 +1000
> Darren Freeman <daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au> wrote:
> > Doesn't the mere act of publicly claiming the GPL to be unlawful make
> > it unlawful (or impossible) to accept it? Surely you could argue that
> > as SCO publicly states that it doesn't accept the GPL, it is violating
> > copyright law at this very minute by distributing SAMBA (and I presume
> > a few other things).
> > 
> > So, do we got em? The FSF and SAMBA team should deliver SCO a
> > cease-and-decist notice and see what happens. They won't be happy not
> > being allowed to distribute SAMBA I suspect.
> I'm not sure what on what grounds they could be told to desist.  The

The paragraph I quoted from the GPL states that you have to accept the
GPL or else not distribute the software. If I publicly state a contract
(or license) to be total crap and unlawful, then how can I be considered
to have accepted it? If SCO has indeed failed to accept the GPL then it
is in breach of international copyright law for every piece of GPLed
software it distributes.

> GPL doesn't explicitly say that disliking the GPL is grounds for
> termination.  But it might be interesting to seek confirmation in

However this isn't exactly a dislike. I dislike the M$ EULAs but have
accepted them from time to time. I haven't made public allegations that
they are against US copyright laws, while SCO has made it clear that
this is their position on the GPL.

It's like signing a contract while believing it to be illegal. Even if
it's not illegal, if you publicly state that you think you are breaking
the law, there has to be *something* that can be done to revoke the
agreement. Even if just to make the logical contradiction public to show
how hypocritical they are.

> writing from them that they have accepted the licence.

Indeed. The FSF should request this in writing and then put it on their
website in a section devoted to such public statements of acceptance.


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