源译识 | 译文分享:罗盒诉玩友案一审判决(2021)

2023-06-21 20:15:00

【编者按】 该案系最高人民法院发布的2021年中国法院十大知识产权案件,该案判决认定,GPLv3协议具有合同性质,是授权方和用户订立的格式化著作权协议,属于我国合同法调整的范围。此外,该案还涉及开源软件的著作权归属及权利行使、GPLv3协议“传染性”范围判定、在GPLv3协议中增加限制商业使用条款的效力,以及违反开源软件协议法律后果的多个核心开源法律问题。


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3.关于GPLV3协议的法律性质和效力。

_ 3.Regarding the legal nature and validity of the GPLV3._


第一 ,协议的内容具备合同特征,属于广义的合同范畴。GPLV3协议是针对某一特定的项目,并预先设定好格式化条款的协议,只要授权方选定了该协议,使用该项目的用户就必须遵守该协议,是授权方和用户之间形成的以开源软件源代码为目的的一种民事法律行为。授权方通过GPLV3协议授予不特定的用户复制、修改、再发行等权利,是设立、变更、终止民事法律权利义务关系的协议。授权方选择适用GPLV3协议传播其源代码,用户复制、修改、发行该源代码时默认承诺承继适用GPLV3协议从而保持协议的传递性,该行为是双方真实意思的表示。因此,在用户复制、修改、发行该源代码时协议成立并生效。根据我国合同法的相关规定,从理论角度对开源许可协议的成立途径进行梳理,主要为“要约说”。要约说认为,开源软件许可协议应当属于软件权利人和用户之间订立的合同,经历了正常的合同成立流程,在双方之间成立合同关系。将开源软件的发布视为发出要约,用户使用视为承诺,在用户使用开源软件时合同成立。从这一角度看开源软件许可协议应当属于广义合同的范畴。

_ Firstly , while its content does have features of a contract, the agreement may fall within the scope of a “contract” in a broad sense. GPLV3 is an agreement with preset formatted terms serving a specific project, and once the licensor chooses to apply this agreement, the user(s) of the project must abide by such agreement. GPLV3 is thus a civil legal act executed between the licensor and the user(s) with the aim of opening the source of the software. The licensor grants to unspecified users, the right to copy, modify, redistribute and so on through the GPLV3, which is regarded as an agreement to establish, change, and terminate civil rights and obligations. Both the licensor’s choice of applying the GPLV3 to propagate his/her source code, and the user’s default commitment to subsequently apply GPLV3 when he/she copies, modifies or distributes the source code (so the agreement passes to downstream works), reflect the true intention of both parties. Therefore, the agreement is established and effective as of the moment that the user copies, modifies and distributes the source code. In accordance with relevant provisions of China’s contract law, the Court examined the establishment of an open source license basically following the “offer-acceptance theory”. The theory affirms that the open source license should be a contract between the owner and the user of the software, and such contractual relationship is established between the two parties with a proper execution process: while the release of an open source software is deemed as an offer, and usage by the user is deemed as a acceptance, then the contract should be established upon the user’s use of the open source software. In this context, open source license should fall within the scope of “contract” in a broad sense._

第二 ,协议是非典型合同。与我国著作权法有关“著作权许可使用和转让合同”的规定相比较,GPLV3协议是开源软件的作者向不特定的使用者让渡其著作权的部分人身权利和全部财产权利,权利授予的对象是不确定的,以换取使用者承诺遵守开源许可协议的许可条件和义务,如将修改后的源代码公开给社会公众共享等,开源软件许可协议并没有权利转让的对价或许可使用付酬等典型的著作权许可合同的主要条款。

_ Secondly , the agreement is an atypical contract. Compared with the provisions of China’s Copyright Law on “contract for copyright licensing and assignment”, the GPLV3 is an agreement where the author of the open source software grants his/her moral rights in part and property rights in whole of his/her copyright to an unspecified user (so the receiver of such grant is uncertain), in exchange for the user’s commitment to abide by the conditions and obligations of the open source license (e.q. promise to share his/her modified source code to the public). In an open source license, there is no consideration of right assignment or payment of royalties, etc. which is typically the main terms in a contract for copyright licensing. _

第三 ,协议是格式合同。GPLV3协议是为特定开源项目开发而预先拟定,由著作权持有人向软件程序使用者提出的合同条款。GPLV3协议序言规定,如果你发布这种程序的副本,无论以收费还是免费的模式,你必须把你获得的自由同样给予副本的接受者,你必须确保他们也能收到或得到源代码,而且你必须向他们展示这些条款以确保他们知道自己享有这样的权利。该格式化条款保持承继性,且不属于格式合同条款无效的情形,其授权内容符合我国著作权法的规定,合法有效。

_ Thirdly , the agreement is a format contract. The GPLV3 is the prewriting contractual provisions to develop a particular open source project, offered by the copyright holder to the user of the software program. The Preamble of the GPLV3 states that “if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedom that you received, and you must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code, and you must show them these terms so they know their rights”. As the formatted clauses maintain the inheritance and do not qualify as an invalid format contract, and the contents authorized are in accordance with the provisions of China’s Copyright Law, the GPLV3 is legally binding._

第四 ,对协议的承诺是通过行为作出。GPLV3协议第8条规定,除非在本协议明确授权下,你不得传播或修改受保护作品。第9条规定,一旦修改和传播一个受保护作品,就表明你接受本协议。第10条规定,每当你发布一个受保护作品,其接收者自动获得来自初始授权人的授权,依照本协议可以运行、修改和传播此程序。该要约内容表明以实践行为作出承诺,无须再签订书面的合同。因此,GPLV3协议的上述有关承诺可以用行为完成的条款符合合同法关于要约和承诺的规定,应为有效。此外,协议是通过电子文本形式由授权方或用户加入开源项目中,电子文本是一种有形的表现形式,属于以书面形式订立的合同。

_ Fourthly , the promise to the agreement is made by an act. The Section 8 of the GPLV3 states that “You may not propagate or modify a covered work except as expressly provided under this License.” Section 9 states that “You may not propagate or modify a covered work except as expressly provided under this License.” Section 10 states that “Each time you convey a covered work, the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensors, to run, modify and propagate that work, subject to this License”. The content of this offer indicates that a promise is made by a practical act, and no further contract signing required. Therefore, the above-mentioned provisions of the GPLV3 that a promise can be completed by an act are in compliance with the provisions of contract law on “offer-acceptance theory”, and thus shall be valid. Furthermore, the licensor or user adds the agreement to an open source project in the form of electronic text, which is a tangible form of expression and thus is regarded as a contract executed in writing._

综上,GPLV3协议具有合同性质,是授权方和用户订立的格式化著作权协议,属于我国合同法调整的范围。

In conclusion, the GPLV3 is by nature contractual and is a formatted copyright agreement concluded between the licensor and the user, which falls within the scope of the adjustment of China’s contract law.


翻译: 郭雪雯、刘博雅、张苏兵、薛杨洁 审校: 王荷舒、郭雪雯、陈文

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