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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: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 18:30:37 +0200

On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 11:47:31 -0400 (Paul Jarc) wrote:

> (Note, I haven't accepted Alexander's argument; I'm just playing
> devil's advocate.  I guess it depends on whether copyright provides an
> exclusive right to make compilations, and whether the eventual
> compilation stored on a particular medium is an acceptable substitute
> for the original copy for purposes of first sale.)

The only time it could be accepted is if indeed there's
a one-to-one correspondence between the number of legally
acquired copies and the number of distributions, much like
buying enough cards for the tiles you want to sell.
Copyright doesn't allow copying, so it would seem to me
that the moment you start to make and distribute copies,
you'll have to accept the GPL. 
The fact that the work is available from the copyright
holder and het licensees for everyone who wants to download
a copy doesn't allow someone who doesn't accept the license
to usurp the prerogatives of the copyright holder, IMHO.

Don't forget that the objective of the construction is to
avoid having to accept the license whilst being able to use
the software in a compilation (and Alexander indicates he
thinks that applies to files and parts of files as much
as the original distribution). This would allow me, for
example, to download djbdns, combine it with a GUI of
my making, strip out the bits-and-pieces I don't like
(and that happen to advertise it's DJB's software), and
sell the lot without any source code as "myGUIdns",
_as long as I download one copy of djbdns for every copy
sold_. Another example would be to rip the rendering
engine out of GhostScript, and use it in a closed-source
product, claiming the right to make a compilation and
first sale to completely ignore the license (and the
copyright statute). 

It sounds very much like the kind of tricks laypeople
tend to believe the law allows but that get shot down
in court.

But, IANAL and I don't feel like discussing with Alexander
anymore. Let him try it in court and see how his turkey

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

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