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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 21:51:21 +0100

Stefan Monnier wrote:
> 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.

And what makes you think so? Well, see


Section 109(a) restates and confirms the principle that, where the 
copyright owner has transferred ownership of a particular copy or 
phonorecord of a work, the person to whom the copy or phonorecord 
is transferred is entitled to dispose of it by sale, rental, or any 
other means. Under this principle, which has been established by 
the court decisions and section 27 of the present law, the 
copyright owner’s exclusive right of public distribution would have 
no effect upon anyone who owns ‘a particular copy or phonorecord 
lawfully made under this title’ and who wishes to transfer it to 
someone else or to destroy it.

Thus, for example, the outright sale of an authorized copy of a 
book frees it from any copyright control over its resale price 
or other conditions of its future disposition. A library that has 
acquired ownership of a copy is entitled to lend it under any 
conditions it chooses to impose. This does not mean that conditions 
on future disposition of copies or phonorecords, imposed by a 
contract between their buyer and seller, would be unenforceable 
between the parties as a breach of contract, but it does mean that 
they could not be enforced by an action for infringement of copyright. 



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