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Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Lee Hollaar
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 13:43:42 +0000 (UTC)

In article <x51xkdqbo0.fsf@lola.goethe.zz> David Kastrup <> writes:
>Wrong.  If you become the lawful owner of a copy by an act of
>_acquisition_, for an exchange of consideration (which may be as small
>as adhering to the conditions of the GPL, or as large as paying a
>download fee for the particular item in question), _then_ you get all
>the rights that the copyright laws guarantee you for _that_ case.

Complete and total nonsense, at least in the United States.

I can become the lawful owner of a copyrighted work without any
exchange of consideration.  It's called a gift.  And when somebody
makes something available to you for free, that's what it is.

Section 117 is important to the GPL.  The GPL deals with modification
and redistribution of the program.  It does not say anything about
the copies necessary to actually run the program.  The MAI v. Peak
case says that when you load a program into memory, you create a
copy.  The GPL does not address the making of this copy, but Section
117 provides the necessary permission.

And you get the "rights [actually, exceptions] that copyright laws
guarantee you" not because of the license, but because the laws
provide those exceptions.  The permission of a license is necessary
ONLY when there is no exception so that your conduct would be an
infringement without permission from the copyright owner.

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