Here in Germany there were some trials on court which Microsoft lost: Certain license terms (in the EULA) are void and therefore can be ignored by the user.

Because the laws are the same for all types of licenses (e.g. the EULA and the GPL), this could have impact on GPL projects:

If some term in the EULA is void, then the same term in the GPL is also void.

My question:

Would a question about such a scenario ("would it be legal...") be "on-topic"?

If yes: Which "tags" would be suitable?

  • 2
    "If some term in the EULA is void, then the same term in the GPL is also void" that very much depends on why the term in the EULA was found to be unenforceable.
    – MadHatter Mod
    Jun 2, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    @MadHatter As far as I understood correctly, the court ruled that you are always allowed to sell and to use (but not to modify) a copy of some software without having to observe the license terms if you legally received that copy. The possible consequence: A company that sells only a small number of IoT devices might buy the same number of some other IoT device with a GPLv3 software installed, reject the GPLv3 and for example sell their own IoT device using "Tivoization" without distributing the source code and without a copy of the GPLv3 license... Jun 2, 2020 at 19:49
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    Where it exists, the doctrine of first sale (and local equivalents) generally hold that lawful purchase of copyright content extinguishes the copyright holder's right to control further distribution, licence obligations notwithstanding. It does not extinguish his/her rights to control reproduction or modification. The widget owner may indeed sell his/her widget on without accepting the GPL, but they may neither make nor sell copies or derivatives of it. In any case, I'm not sure how that relates to the question you asked.
    – MadHatter Mod
    Jun 3, 2020 at 5:59

2 Answers 2


From your question, it smells like this would be suitable for Law Stack Exchange.


From What topics can I ask about here?

You've come to the right place if you have questions about:

  • understanding, applying, and complying with Free & Open licenses
  • [Other items omitted]

So yes, that would be on-topic.

This of course means that the intersection of on-topic questions in Law Stack Exchange and FOS Stack Exchange is not the empty set.

For tags I suggest a combination of some of the already existing gpl, eula, license-comparison and law.

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