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Re: Licensing question about the BSD

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Licensing question about the BSD
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 18:02:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> [...]
>> > Copies are lawfully made pursuant to the GPL's unilateral grant
>> > to reproduce.
>> ... under certain conditions.
>> > "in which case he must show that he is obeying its terms."
>> >
>> > No. You must show that copies are not lawfully made.
>> If they don't follow the copy conditions, they are unauthorized.
> And what copy conditions are not followed in the copies that I've 
> made?
> Promises regarding distribution are totally baside the point. We 
> are talking about *unilateral* grant, not a contract:
> <quote author=Moglen>
> The GPL, however, is a true copyright license: a unilateral 
> permission, in which no obligations are reciprocally required by 
> the licensor.
> </quote>
> Distribution is done under 17 USC 109, not GPL.

The GPL does not grant you permission to copy for the purpose of
distribution under 17 USC 109.  It grants you permission to copy for
the purpose of distribution under the GPL.

Your thought model would require very special circumstances.  For
example, that the copyright owner places the software on a web site
with clearly propotional intent (so that there is a return of value)
and that this web site's conditions grant _unconditional_ rights to
download and redistribute the software.  In that case, repeated
creation of copies by downloads and redistribution of those copies
under 17 USC 109 instead of the GPL might be conceivable.

Now you just need to find a copyright owner that gives explicit
permission to download stuff _without_ heeding the GPL.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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