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Re: LGPL reverse engineering clause & Java

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: LGPL reverse engineering clause & Java
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:31:50 GMT
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

>> Right, now I wish you good luck arguing this in court where the judges have
>> to *interpret* the law, which includes pesky details like "intent".
> The meaning and intent of the 17 USC 109 is quite clear.

The intent of the "first sale" doctrine of 17 USC 109 is pretty clearly not
to allow someone to sell/distribute endless copies of a single object;
even if those copies are obtained legally and are not tainted by the
"backup" clause.

If you try what you say, it might be blantantly obvious to a court that what
you're really doing is specifically disallowed by the GPL, even if you can
construe some argument that you're actually doing something else, using
a far-fetched interpretation of 17 USC 109 that extends it way past its
own intent.

Of course, you seem to think that a court wouldn't see through your "clever"
scheme, and you might be right.  I personally wouln't bet on it, and it
seems that I'm far from alone in this.  Maybe we're all just chicken.
But then again, maybe you're just deluded.


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