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Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 00:11:22 +0200

On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 17:55:09 +0200
Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:


Frankly, you are a PITA. That document contains 232 pages,
and without any reference to a page, paragraph or section,
I cannot be bothered trying to intuit what you're thinking
of. Anyhow, it really doesn't matter as that document states
quite clearly that the doctrine of first sale concerns the
"restraints on the alienation of tangible property". Digital
copies aren't considered tangible property, and hence aren't
covered by the first sale doctrine. CDs purchased from the
FSF are "tangible property" (page xix, last paragraph):

| The underlying policy of the first sale doctrine as adopted
| by the courts was to give effect to the common law rule
| against restraints on the alienation of tangible property.
| The tangible nature of a copy is the defining element of 
| the first sale doctrine, and critical to its rationale.
| The digital transmission of a work does not implicate the
| alienability of a physical artifact. When a work is trans-
| mitted, the sender is exercising control over the intangible
| work through its reproduction rather than common law dominion
| over an item of tangible personal property. 
| Unlike the distribution of digital works on a tangible medium,
| such as a floppy disk, the transmission of works interferes
| with the copyright owner's control of the intangible work and
| the exclusive right of reproduction. The benefits to further
| expansion simply do not outweigh the likelihood of increased
| harm.

That's pretty much identical to what I said. Please get a clue.

"What is stated clearly conceives easily."  -- Inspired sales droid

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