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Re: LGPL reverse engineering clause & Java

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: LGPL reverse engineering clause & Java
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 17:02:34 +0100

David Kastrup wrote:
> > You keep comparing online distribution (where copyright owners
> > and/or authorized distributors are transferring ownership of a copy
> > of the work to recipients)
> They make them available under conditions.

Yeah. That <> also has "Terms of 
Use" ("you may not <blah blah>" link/page). But I've accepted nothing, 
to begin with. More:


P.S. Just in case... <Forward Inline>

-------- Original Message --------
Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2004 17:43:50 +0200
From: Alexander Terekhov <>
Subject: Re: It's not a GPL loophole: object and source are equivalent
References: ... <>

Stefaan A Eeckels wrote:
> the license are respected, obviously. I don't think that
> all terms need to occur together at a particular moment;
> in any case, I don't see specific clauses forbidding
> restrictions or conditions on future actions of the
> licensee.

You can do that using enforceable contract. Please read this 
(Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp.)

(The GPL is a License, Not a Contract, Which is Why the Sky Isn't Falling)

Everybody and his dog (apart from the Munich district court)  
knows that the GPL is *NOT* a contract.

  "But most proprietary software companies want more power than 
   copyright alone gives them. These companies say their software 
   is ``licensed'' to consumers, but the license contains 
   obligations that copyright law knows nothing about. [...] 
   Copyright law doesn't prohibit decompilation, the prohibition 
   is just a contract term "

But the Copyright law not only does not "prohibit" REdistribution 
without authorization (I can do it on my own terms that don't 
violate any exclusive rights of the copyright owners), it 
explicitly LIMITS the distribution right to facilitate the 
continued flow of property throughout society.

  "you agree to as a condition of getting the software when you 
   buy the product under shrink wrap in a store, or accept a 
   ``clickwrap license'' on line. Copyright is just leverage 
   for taking even more away from users. 

   The GPL, on the other hand, subtracts from copyright rather 
   than adding to it. The license doesn't have to be complicated, 
   because we try to control users as little as possible.

   The only thing we absolutely require is that anyone 

Well, 17 USC 109, Herr Professor.

  "Because there's nothing complex or controversial about the 
   license's substantive provisions, I have never even seen a 
   serious argument that the GPL exceeds a licensor's powers. But 
   it is sometimes said that the GPL can't be enforced because 
   users haven't ``accepted'' it. 

   This claim is based on a misunderstanding."

Got it? My, this is such a fun. ;-)


(Lawrence Rosen, Manifestation of Assent)

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