On one hand, I’m semi-amused by the creativity.
On the other hand, christ what an asshole.
Since it’s an explicit attempt to use a ‘letter of the law’ argument to circumvent an ‘intent of the law’, I’m not sure a judge would think it’s nearly as clever as the author thinks. Pure speculation. IANAL.
Would such hack work in court?
And if so, would it work for a Free protocol too?
I mean, can one use this trick to force every implementation of a new protocol to be AGPLv3?
I could’ve sworn that something like this has been litigated, but either I’m misremembering or just not finding the right search terms. I think it was an ‘80s case involving a mechanism that would lock out third-party software by requiring a copyrighted image to be part of the ROM header, so that anyone who tried to make compatible software without a license would have to violate the image’s copyright.
The closest I can actually find is a case based on trademark rather than copyright law. Sega lost a 1992 case against third-party game manufacturers over a third-party-lockout scheme that wouldn’t run cartridges unless they used Sega trademarks. Specifically, the Sega Genesis would check for the string “SEGA” at a certain location, and if found, would display the text “Produced by or under license from Sega Enterprises Ltd.” (if not found, it wouldn’t run the cartridge). Sega argued that a non-licensed third party developer, by including the string SEGA in their cartridge, was misusing the trademark and falsely claiming to be produced under license. They won in a lower court, lost on appeal. The appellate decision held that limited use of the string “SEGA” solely for interoperability was fair use of the trademark, and the fact that it caused the Genesis to display a false message about licensing was Sega’s own fault.
only one way to find out…
When I count my blessings, among them is the fact that it’s been more than 10 years since I’ve had to touch an oracle db.