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[Freeciv] Re: forced open source

[Freeciv] Re: forced open source

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To: Stan Shebs <shebs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: forced open source
From: Tomasz Wegrzanowski <maniek@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 20:14:41 +0200

On Thu, Jul 20, 2000 at 10:11:58AM -0700, Stan Shebs wrote:
> "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.

If RedHat or SuSe had any interest in legality of their RPMs,
they wouldn't distribute KDE at all.

If they get such a letter, they would probably forward it to ./ and all
other places of interest, and under no circumstances obey it,
because then they would be flooded by hundreds of similar letters,
from Sun, Apple, MS, AT&T, etc.

> > - 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.

It's quite difficult to make money from writing proprietary GNU/Linux software.
Nobody managed to do it yet, and I doubt anyone will.

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