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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 17:28:05 +0100

David Kastrup wrote:
> > Yeah. That <> also has "Terms of
> > Use" ("you may not <blah blah>" link/page). But I've accepted nothing,
> > to begin with.
> Fine, but then you have no rights to the software in question except
> those granted by copyright (which do not include redistribution). 

17 USC 109, stupid.

<quote source=>

(1) First Sale Doctrine

The “first sale” doctrine was first analyzed by the United States 
Supreme Court in Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, 210 U.S. 339 (1908). 


One significant effect of § 109(a) is to limit the exclusive right 
to distribute copies to their first voluntary disposition, and thus 
negate copyright owner control over further or “downstream” transfer 
to a third party. Quality King Distrib. v. L’Anza Research Int’l, 
Inc., 523 U.S. 135, 142-44 (1998). 


Adobe argues that the first sale doctrine does not apply because 
Adobe does not sell or authorize any sale of its software. Adobe 
characterizes each transaction throughout the entire stream of 
commerce as a license.8 Adobe asserts that its license defines the 
relationship between Adobe and any third-party such that a breach 
of the license constitutes copyright infringement. This assertion 
is not accurate because copyright law in fact provides certain 
rights to owners of a particular copy. This grant of rights is 
independent from any purported grant of rights from Adobe. The 
Adobe license compels third-parties to relinquish rights that the 
third-parties enjoy under copyright law.


(2) Sale v. License

(a) Historical Background

Historically, the purpose of “licensing” computer program copy use 
was to employ contract terms to augment trade secret protection in 
order to protect against unauthorized copying at a time when, first, 
the existence of a copyright in computer programs was doubtful, and, 
later, when the extent to which copyright provided protection was 
uncertain. (See Rice Decl. ¶ 6.) Computer program copy use 
“licensing” continued after federal courts interpreted the 
Copyright Act to provide substantial protection for computer 
programs as literary works. (Id. at ¶ 7.) In Step-Saver Data 
Systems, Inc. v. Wise Technology, the Third Circuit examined the
historical development of the use of licensing in the software 
industry and concluded that subsequent changes to the Copyright Act 
had rendered the need to characterize the transaction as a license
“largely anachronistic.” 939 F.2d 91, 96 n.7 (3d Cir. 1991).10

>                                                                   And
> even copyright only grants you rights once you entered into an
> exchange of consideration (usually meaning some payment that is not
> specifically a content-independent volume rate).

"Wrong, wrong, wrong..."


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