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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 14:55:25 +0000 (UTC)

In article <x5smctotu3.fsf@lola.goethe.zz> David Kastrup <> writes:
> (Lee Hollaar) writes:
>> In article <> Stefaan A
>> Eeckels <> writes:
>> >1. Download x copies of a GPLed program, so that he has
>> >   x copies subject to first sale,
>> >2. Extract the desired files, or bits of files, from
>> >   a copy, 
>> >3. Combine the extracted files with other files to form
>> >   a new program, which is an aggregation, and not a 
>> >   derivative work,
>> >4. Distribute the result x times without complying with
>> >   the GPL.
>> That's probably not permissible.
>> But if you instruct the end user on how to do it, starting with
>> lawfully acquiring a copy by downloading it, then it would be
>> legal.
>Would it?  In that case, the user is acting in your behalf in
>fulfilling your part of the deal with him.

So what?  At best, you would be a contributory infringer, but if it is
not an infringement (perhaps because of 17 USC 117), then there is not
contributory infringement.

>If your files have a definitive, separate usefulness apart from
>combining them with the GPLed program, it is the user that is
>responsible for the aggregation.
>If your files are not useful for anything else, then you share
>responsibility for the creation of the derived work.

There is no such thing as a "derived work" in United States copyright
law.  There are "derivative works" but that's not quite the same as
the GPL "derived work."

And if you are the lawful owner of a copy of a computer program, you
get to copy and adapt it all you want in order to use it without an
further permission of the copyright owner.  And since there is no
infringement, there is no liability to share.

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