Alexandre Oliva aoliva@redhat.com
Mon Jul 16 17:58:00 GMT 2007

On Jul 16, 2007, kenner@vlsi1.ultra.nyu.edu (Richard Kenner) wrote:

>> A contract requires  parties who come to an agreement.  Further it requires
>> consideration.  Neither are present in the GPL.

> Of course software licenses have consideration: one party is getting to use
> software and the other party is giving the conditions (very roughly speaking)
> under which that software can be used.

This doesn't appear to be enough consideration to establish a

by Eben Moglen, FSF legal counsel

  Licenses are not contracts: the work's user is obliged to remain
  within the bounds of the license not because she voluntarily
  promised, but because she doesn't have any right to act at all
  except as the license permits.

SAPNA KUMAR, Duke University - School of Law

  Attorneys have attempted to construe the GPL as a contract. If the
  contract model worked, it would provide the most protection to
  agreements made under the GPL. But there is no way to interpret the
  license such that the consideration requirement is met.

  Though the GPL is not a contract, it is enforceable. The Copyright
  Act does not require the formation of a contract in order for an
  author to enforce her rights against a copyright
  infringer. Likewise, a licensee is protected if the licensor
  breaches and the licensee relied on the license to her detriment.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
FSF Latin America Board Member         http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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