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[Freeciv] Re: forced open source

[Freeciv] Re: forced open source

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To: "Per I. Mathisen" <Per.Inge.Mathisen@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: forced open source
From: Stan Shebs <shebs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 10:11:58 -0700
Reply-to: shebs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Per I. Mathisen" wrote:
> - As far as I am aware, IANAL-wise, Freeciv has nothing to fear legally
> from Hasbro. This has been discussed before, and I do not think further
> discussion will make anyone any wiser. What can be done, however, is to
> contact RedHat or GNU and ask if they can ask their lawyer for advice.

You can try, but I doubt you'll get much help there.  I worked on GNU
for Cygnus for many years, and am presently working on open source for
Apple, and at both places I've had a number of occasions to talk to
lawyers about these kinds of issues.

One of the hard rules for these companies is "respect copyrights".
Not only do they need to work with other companies, but the GPL's
own enforceability depends critically on copyright law.  Even the
FSF has to be pragmatic on this point.  If Hasbro were to send a
letter to Red Hat or SuSE informing them that Freeciv was infringing,
they'd probably delete the RPMs from their distributions right away,
and only restore them if Hasbro withdraws its objection.

> - This is a freeciv list, not a copyright or politics discussion
> list. Please stay on topic and please do not feed the troll.

No, this is a genuine long-term issue for Freeciv developers, who
ought to plan for the possibility of a collision.  As Linux grows
its user base, and Hasbro starts looking at Linux to make some $$$,
there's a good chance that they will decide to take some action.


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