[Haskell-cafe] Using stringize and string concatenation in ghc preprocessing
ben.franksen at online.de
Mon Jan 23 21:42:54 UTC 2017
Am 23.01.2017 um 21:21 schrieb Sven Panne:
> 2017-01-23 20:55 GMT+01:00 Ben Franksen <ben.franksen at online.de>:
>> It is not "my" intepretation, rather it is the "official" interpretation
>> of the GPL according to the people who created it (the FSF).
> But "official" is not the same as "is accepted by any court". Of course the
> people who created the license have a biased view, but so do company
> lawyers (and the rest of the management): The "safe mode" for them is to
> say "no", you can't be blamed then and don't do anything wrong, at least
> not immediately. As a lot of things in life, such decisions are not driven
> by desire to improve the well-being of a greater entity
> (company/society/...), but purely personal interests.
I can understand how this works. However, I would think that this is
also a matter of weighing risks against opportunities. I would really
like to talk to such a lawyer (in private) and ask him to explain to me
how he thinks the GPL could cause legal risk for a company that merely
uses the software.
>> Do you have any evidence to support this statement?
> Something like this happened to me at least three times in my career, and
> even if it's not direct refusal to accept such licenses, there are quite a
> few companies (especially bigger ones) which require a *lenghty* process to
> get SW with such licenses approved. This doesn't exactly encourage
> engineers to take that route...
Ok, still anecdotal evidence. Yes, there are such companies/lawyers.
Perhaps this is enough to justify caution. I would still like to see
>> I ask because if what you say is true, most companies willfully and
>> severely restrict
>> their options.
> There is no such thing as "the company", basically people are acting as
> individuals (see above).
Ah, well. So if the CEO thinks opportunities trump the risks he/she
*could* just overrule whatever the lawyers say.
>> For instance, a company that employs lawyers who "won't
>> touch GPL3 or even LGPL3 with a ten foot pole" could not use Linux in
>> any way (the kernel is GPL licensed), nor e.g. Android (based on Linux
>> kernel). [...]
> That's not true: If you take $$$ and e.g. license your RedHat Enterprise
> Linux/SLES/..., you have a legal entity (RedHat, SuSE, ...) which takes the
> responsibility before court, not *your* company. So that's the easy way for
> lawyers. Alas, there is no GHC/cpphs company of sufficient size for this to
> work in our case.
I really don't understand that kind of logic. In particular, how exactly
does getting GPL'd software from a vendor sich as RedHat allow the
client to shift legal risks to that vendor? And what about RedHat
themselves? Wouldn't *their* lawyers warn them against taking on such
risks? This just doesn't make any sense to me.
> Disclaimer: I don't say that this is a perfect situation, but it's just
> what I've experienced. Just shouting "GPL is fine, you can use it!" ignores
> the darker side of company life...
Perhaps. I suspect that whatever corporate lawyers may say against GPL
is simply irrational fear and stupid conservatism.
BTW, are there *any* examples of court decisions against companies
because of GPL infringements that may lend substance to these vague
claims of terrible risks when using GPL licensed software?
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