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Re: GPL and other licences

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Sun, 05 Feb 2006 21:10:25 +0100

   > The workers are also the licensees.

   They are not. The company has signed the license. The employees did
   not sign anything, and hence aren't licensees. For the purposes of
   the law, a company is a separate entity (a "legal person" as
   opposed to a "natural person").

You are confusing contract vs. copyright license.

   > Property != Software!  Why are you confusing the two?  I'm not
   > talking about property, we agree on that.  If the company lends
   > me a car, then it isn't my car.  Simple as that.  Why are you
   > insisting on this?

   And if the company gives you its software to perform your duties,
   it isn't your software, simple as that. You have only the right to
   use the software as instructed by the company, like you have only
   the right to use the company car as instructed by the company.

No, not true.  The company cannot dictate the terms of how the
software can be used, only the copyright holder can.  If the license
of the software disallow something, the company cannot go and say that
it is allowed.

   > You also seem to not grasp anything that we are discussing, it is the
   > _software_ located _ON_ the CD, not the CD itself.  Stop insisting
   > that it is otherwise.

   But you have no rights to that software. The rights are with the
   company, and the fact that is software has nothing to do with it.
   If the company gives you a design of one of its products on CD,
   does that give you the right (because the design is intangible) to
   "copy" that design?

If the license of the design allows me to do this, yes.

   > If I have the software in my hand it is _I_ who am the licensee.
   > Not the company.  You cannot buy a license for a company, you can
   > buy a license for N number of people.

   You are mistaken. A company is a legal person that can and does
   enter into contracts. If this weren't the case, creditors could sue
   the individual employees when a company doesn't pay. This would not
   be popular.

You are confusing contract law vs. copyright law.

   > I cannot do anything with the physical copy yes, if I make a copy
   > of the software located on the physical copy, no, then I'm bound
   > by the license of the software.

   You cannot do anything with a physical copy that is not your
   property, including making copies of its content.

Not true if the content has a license that allows me to do so.  Once
again people confuse intangible things with tangible ones.

   >  I cannot go and give away the _CD_ unless I have permission from
   > the company, but I can redistribute the software that is stored
   > on that CD if the copyright holder gave me such permission.  The
   > company cannot ever redictate the terms of the copyright holder,
   > period.

   You are confused. Would you claim that the postman has the right to
   make copies of CDs he's delivering because the content is GPLed?

If he had recived the CDs in a legal way, yes.  If he poked into my
mail and copied them, and he wasn't allowed to take the CD, of course
not.  Once again people are making up absurd examples that have no
relevance to the discussion.

   For the license to apply you _must_ be the legal owner of the
   physical copy, which you are _not_ when you are handed the CD as
   employee of the company (or when you're the postman).

Since the company gave me a copy of the CD legally, I am legally bound
by the software licenses that are on the CD, and can only do the
things that those software licenses dictate me to do.  If they allow
me to redistribute the software to others, then I am allowed to do so.

A software license is bound not to the company, but to the user of
that software.

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