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

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Mon Aug 25 13:21:56 EST 2003

On 25 Aug 2003 12:52:38 +1000 Darren Freeman
<daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au> wrote:

> On Mon, 2003-08-25 at 10:25, Martin Pool wrote:

> 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?

I think it is quite possible to accept a contract or licence while
having or expressing reservations about whether it is legal or

In any case, it was Mark Scheise (sp?) who complained about the GPL, and
while he is one of SCO's attorneys, his objection to the licence does
not necessarily mean SCO has not accepted it.  And the wording was
weasily enough to avoid a conflict: "we think this is preempted, but
we're still accepting it for the time being."

> It's like signing a contract while believing it to be illegal. 

It is not an "illegal contract", which I think means something like a
contract for murder.  It might be unenforceable.  Signing contracts with
unenforceable provisions (e.g. "we disclaim all liability...") is quite
possible and it does not necessarily mean those provision can't be
struck out in court.

> 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.

Yes, I'd like to see that.


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