Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

December 15, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:22 PM

There’s an excellent article on groklaw ( on “The GPL is a License, Not a Contract, Which is Why the Sky Isn’t Falling”. Specifically, why this means that companies don’t have quite as much to fear when using GPL’d code as certain fudsters would like us all to believe[1].

[1] This is because it’s a license, not a contract. If you breach a contract, I can come after you and sue you. If you breach a license, all that happens is that the license is revoked. What this means is that if you e.g. distribute GPL’d code without giving the source, you are violating the license, and you have to stop distributing your offending code, because you no longer have permissions (==license) to do so. It doesn’t mean you have to open up the rest of your non-infringing code, for example, as the fudsters would like you to believe, and as *might* have been the case if the GPL had been a contract. IANAL, nor do I play one on TV.

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