Monty Program response to the SFLC position paper

Last week professor Eben Moglen published an SFLC position paper related to the EU investigation on the Oracle Sun merger. Even though most of the proceedings do not happen in public, the SFLC publishing its own paper allowed us to answer it to the Commission. While it is not our primary objective - and we are a bit constrained at this point - to educate the public or debate this. But given that it is something everyone likes to have an opinion on, and the SFLC has already opened the discussion, we have decided to also publish our submission as well.

We would like to emphasize the following paragraph from the introduction.

1.3 In the following paragraphs we will correct (only) the main factual errors of Prof. Moglen's paper. Before commencing it is important to stress our highest regard for the valuable, life-long and groundbreaking work of Prof. Moglen for the FSF, MySQL Ab, and software freedom in general. We would like to remind the reader that in proceedings like this, each party is always advised and supported by lawyers, and a lawyer's duty is to argue that party's case as well as possible. Hence, with our pointing out the errors in Prof. Moglen's paper, it is not our intention to imply to any reader anything about the person of Prof. Moglen himself and we strongly advice the reader to read the following with a similar attitude.

(Having met Eben in Brussels, it is actually not correct that he is working for Oracle (which is true for Carlo Piana), that was just the most charitable interpretation I could think of. Instead he was merely "invited" and provided a confidential document by Oracle, which threw me off. I understand he is motivated by specific points related to his own ideological agenda, which is perfectly valid too. Actually I somewhat sympatize with the overall objective. The paper is more focusing on facts.)

In addition, since there have been other comments and rebuttals to the SFLC paper as well, I'd like to say this was written by Monty and myself, and we did not participate in the other papers.

Due to traveling and work backlog I may be a bit unavailable for comments, but will do my best to answer any questions in the comments. Otoh, for the larger debate on how GPL works, the 451 or Groklaw blogs I'm sure are more active comment threads and would hint at using them.

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