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Re: Wodim trouble



Joerg Schilling wrote:
> There are some people who claim that there is a legal problem with the
> original software but none of the persons who spread this claim (including
> people from redhat) did ever make a valid legal statement that could
> confirm a problem. As there are no valid legal arguments _against_ the
> situation in cdrtoools, there is obviously no way to discuss things and we
> need to rate the claims against cdrtools as libel.

They are making a very concrete claim: if one piece of some program is under 
the GPL, the ENTIRE program, including all its libraries, MUST be under the 
GPL or a compatible license. This is confirmed e.g. by the FSF:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatDoesCompatMean
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLModuleLicense
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs

> I even tried to discuss the social problem with some people from redhat
> but I was only given FUD instead of arguments. In return, I repeatedly
> asked for legal arguments that could be discussed, to no avail. So redhat
> also proves the same and it is obvious that there are no valid legal
> arguments that could confirm a problem with the original softare.

That's just false. You refused to take legal arguments from Fedora's legal 
contact (who is responsible for communication between RH Legal and the 
Fedora community) on the grounds that he's not a lawyer and demanded to 
speak directly to the lawyers. You ignored all the arguments he brought up, 
no matter how valid.

> Note that the GPL was designed to be compatible with all independently
> developed libraries under any license. This is a decision that was made in
> the late 1980s and I know the background of this diiscussion as I did take
> part in it. The GPL would have been completely unuaable if it was not made
> legally compatible with any independent library under any license.

Then I have a breaking news for you: the GPL *is* "completely unusable". 
Nevermind all those projects who can use it just fine while honoring these 
terms you refuse to accept. :-/

> Even Eben Moglen confirmed that there is absolutely no problem with
> letting GPLd programs use CDDLs libs as this is of course no more then
> "mere aggregation", and permitted by the GPL.

You are misrepresenting Eben Moglen's position. The FSF's GPL FAQ, which he 
helped write, clearly says "If the modules are included in the same 
executable file, they are definitely combined in one program. If modules are 
designed to run linked together in a shared address space, that almost 
surely means combining them into one program." So this is not "mere 
aggregation".

> Sun did make a legal review on cdrtools im May 2006 already, but in order
> to be very sure, I asked Sun legal to repeat the legal review on cdrtools
> last autumn. After doing the review, Sun legal confirmed again that there
> is no problem with the original software.

Red Hat, like pretty much any other company, cannot trust other companies' 
legal departments. The relevant opinion is going to be Red Hat Legal's, 
sorry. (And FWIW, I have no idea why Sun is coming to that conclusion which 
directly contradicts the FSF's opinion, see the GPL FAQ.)

> It seems that the people who claim legal problems do not like to get into
> a discussion as with a fact based discussion, it would be easy to prove
> that they are wrong.

It is you who boycotted the fact-based discussion on ad hominem grounds 
(i.e. "you're not a lawyer, I won't listen to you", nevermind that you 
aren't one either).

        Kevin Kofler


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