Re: The linux devs can rescind their license grant.
Date: Fri Oct 26 2018 - 06:34:35 EST
Yes they can, greg.
The GPL v2, is a bare license. It is not a contract. It lacks
consideration between the licensee and the grantor.
(IE: They didn't pay you, Greg, a thing. YOU, Greg, simply have chosen
to bestow a benefit upon them where they suffer no detriment and you, in
fact, gain no bargained-for benefit)
As a bare license, (read: property license), the standard rules
regarding the alienation of property apply.
Therein: a gratuitous license is revocable at the will of the grantor.
The licensee then may ATTEMPT, as an affirmative defense against your
as-of-right action to claim promissory estoppel in state court, and
"keep you to your word". However you made no such promise disclaiming
your right to rescind the license.
Remeber: There is no utterance disclaiming this right within the GPL
version 2. Linus, furthermore, has chosen both to exclude the "or any
later version" codicil, to reject the GPL version 3, AND to publicly
savage GPL version 3 (he surely has his reasons, perhaps this is one of
them, left unstated). (GPLv3 which has such promises listed (not to say
that they would be effective against the grantor, but it is an attempt
at the least)).
The Software Freedom Conservancy has attempted to mis-construe clause 4
of the GPL version 2 as a "no-revocation by grantor" clause.
However, reading said clause, using plain construction, leads a
reasonable person to understand that said clause is speaking
specifically about the situation where an upstream licensee loses their
permission under the terms due to a violation of the terms; in that case
the down-stream licensee does not in-turn also lose their permission
under the terms.
Additionally, clause 0 makes it crystal clear that "You" is defined as
the licensee, not the grantor. Another issue the SFConservancy's public
service announcement chooses to ignore.
Thirdly, the SFConservancy banks on the ignorance of both the public and
the developers regarding property alienation. A license does not impinge
the rights of the party granting the license in a quid-pro-quo manner
vis a vis the licensee's taking. A license merely grants permission,
extended from the grantor, to the licensee, regarding the article of
property that is being impinged. A license is NOT a full nor is it a
permanent alienation of the article(property) in question. The impinged
property, being under a non bargained-for temporary grant, can be taken
back into the sole dominion of the owner - at his election to do so.
Now as to the 9th circuit appellate court's decision in Jacobsen v.
Katzer . While the court waxes eloquently about opensource licenses,
even mentioning the word "consideration" in it's long dicta, when it
comes time to make the binding decision the court found that the lower
(district) court was in _ERROR_ regarding the application of
contract-law principals to the Artistic License, regarding the case, and
instructed the lower court to instead construe said license as a
The SFConservancy, and Bruce Perens have chosen to:
1) Rely on the dicta. (non-binding - "some things could be contracts -
opensource is great")
2) Ignore the actual ruling. (Binding - Copyright License - Not
3) Ignore that this case was about the AL, not the GPLv2
4) Ignore the existence of different jurisdictions.
(Why file in the roll-the-dice 9th district if you can file in a
district that has personal-juristicion over the defendant and is much
more consistent in it's rulings?)
5) Ignore all established law regard property licensing, contract
formation, meeting of the minds, what consideration is etc.
Which is not surprising considering the desire of people like Bruce
Perens is to rob MEN of EVERY benefit of their Labour and every speck of
happiness in life and to transfer those benefits to WOMEN and those who
(This is why people who are like Bruce Perens, the SFConservancy
menbers, and the CoC supporters, banned men from taking female children
as brides: in contrivance to the law of YHWH (Devarim chapter 22 - -
verse 28 (na'ar (LXX: padia)), and continue to uphold that ban
world-wide, and seek to destroy ALL cultures that do no bend to their
will.... who are not idolators of Women)
Look, you may love your users, you may love the people who edit your
code in their home or office; but the fact of the matter is...
They have done nothing for you, they have promised nothing to you. They
CANNOT hold YOU.
You have the right to rescind at any time, and remove your work from any
future versions of Linux. And you might consider doing so if YOU are
Don't let the insatiable, never-satisfied, public fool you into thinking
And, yes, I am a lawyer.
And, no, unlike the SFConservancy, I did not have to call upon outside
counsel to analyze the fact pattern. (And even then all they could come
up with was statements using weasel words "may" etc: not even wanting to
commit to their clearly-disingenuous publication)
(Note: If you would like to read a nice discussion on the topic, here is
On 2018-10-25 08:19, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
On Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 07:56:26AM +0000, visionsofalice@xxxxxxxxxx
The linux devs can rescind their license grant.
No they can not, please do not keep spreading false information.