Re: GPL and new EU antitrust proposals for licences
Alex Hudson <home <at> alexhudson.com>
2003-12-03 22:56:40 GMT
On Wed, 2003-12-03 at 20:50, James Heald wrote:
> Could it conceivably be argued that prima facie the terms of the GPL
> might somehow be a restriction of freedom under 81(1)(a), 81(1)(b) or
> 81(1)(e) ?
81(1)(a) seems to be a restriction on collusion (or whatever the word is
;) - as in, a restriction on cartels. However, I guess it is possible
that the restriction within the GPL to do with resale value of source
code is such a cartel. 81(1)(b) I'm not hugely worried about - I'm not
sure how you might argue the GPL limits or controls production (there is
none) nor markets nor investment. Maybe development could be arguable.
81(1)(e) similar - it's a fairly pure copyright licence, so I would
suspect it would be difficult to argue any of it is supplementary in any
way (I think this clause is more aimed at something like the BitKeeper
licence, which would seem to contravene these regulations: it prevents
you from developing completing software, which would seem to be both a
supplementary restriction and a restraint on technical development).
81(1)(a) seems the most worrisome. Resale value of source code doesn't
just apply to the original code, but also to your derivations. That's
one point that I could see is arguable. However, I think 81(1)(a) is
framed at agreements between competitors, not between supplier and
customer, in which case it wouldn't apply to the GPL per se.
> (b) any direct or indirect obligation on the licensee to assign, in
> whole or part, or to a third party designated by the licensor, rights to
> improvements to or new applications of the licensed technology.
> Could this affect the GPL ??