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Re: OpenMP licensing problem: a solution

On Tue, 23 Nov 2004, Mike Stump wrote:
> > Also, 
> > bear in mind, what the person says has no legal weight, if they person you 
> > are talking to has no legal standing.
> It's never a good idea to make assumptions about what principles the law 
> follows :).

On Tue, Nov 23, 2004 at 07:47:43PM -0500, Daniel Berlin wrote:
> In this case, what you've said isn't necessarily or even usually true.
> Take a gander at the law of agency, in particular the principle of 
> "apparent authority" (and also the principles of various forms 
> of estoppel). Of course, you'd end up in court in this case, which you'd 
> want to avoid, but you don't get to hold yourself out and give legal 
> answers on behalf of your employer without any consequences :).

"estoppel", as I understand it, means that the court won't find you guilty
if you rely on a promise that you had good reason to think was a valid
promise (for example, because someone claiming to speak for a company made
it to you).  I have no idea, though, what "good reason" means in this
case.  Red Hat recently put out a piece explaining that the estoppel
principle would keep a future evil Red Hat management from suing free
software developers for infringing on Red Hat's patents, because the
developers are relying on an official promise:

Still, estoppel is an Anglo/American concept, and might not be good

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