[LINK] A lawyers view of Free and Open Source software -"Source
Auer, Karl James
karl.auer at id.ethz.ch
Sat Mar 12 12:11:33 EST 2005
Robert Hart wrote:
> > > http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/articles/31/0C02D331.asp
> > His interpretation and understanding of the GPL and the
> > LGPL is flawed, IMO.
> Reading the article it would appear that this author has a 'political'
> agenda of some kind, one that comes from a position against FOSS.
I found the article quite good and reasonably accurate, though the
author is pretty obviously not particularly software-literate. That's
OK, he's a lawyer, not a programmer. And he's absolutely right that the
terms of most OSS licences are politically driven rather than "by
lawyers for lawyers". He doesn't say that's bad. He's also right that
the GPL is ambiguous and open to many interpretations. Until it is
tested in the fire of litigation it will remain so.
The writer was being cautious, not overtly biased, I thought. It was not
a comparison of OSS with non-OSS. The only thing that really irritated
me was the statement that there is typically no warranty for OSS, with
the strong implication that there *is* warranty with non-OSS - that
smacked a bit of FUD. And the bit about SCO rather missed the point that
SCO's actions were completely devoid of any moral, ethical or legal
On the whole, I think you might be being a bit over-sensitive. Why not
write to the guy?
Karl Auer (karl.auer at id.ethz.ch) Geschaeft/work +41- 1-6327531
Kommunikation, ETHZ RZ Privat/home +41-43-2660706
Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, Zuerich Fax +41- 1-6321225
Clausiusstrasse 59 CH-8092 ZUERICH Switzerland
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