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The Register: GPL Goes to Court

Aug 11, 2003, 22:00 (25 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

"However, there is a fundamental philosophical difference to how we approach 'the law': in Britain. If we don't like laws, we break them. Sometimes we break them en masse: but if you think about it, we're all very good at doing this. In the United States, if we don't like laws, we hire some lawyers to engage in an epic Talmudic battle of the intellects, with each side waving around such documents as 'the Constituion' as if they were a sacred parchment, or Turin Shroud, until a victor is crowned. So rooted is this faith in the law, that constructive civil disobedience--such as having fun in the park--isn't yet embedded in the US culture.

"Which brings us to the most important social contract that the logician US culture has ever allowed to be tolerated: the GPL, or General Public Licence. This is a quasi-legal document, but it's great strength is the social obligations it bestows on its participants..."

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