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Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 20:42:42 +0200

On Thu, 29 Jun 2006 19:52:37 +0200 (CEST)
"Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:

>    Alfred, please don't send me copies of messages that are also sent
>    to the group. Unless you mark the post "Posted and Mailed" or
>    suchlike, it's against netiquette.
> It is commont netiquette to CC everyone, and it is specially done so
> on GNU mailing lists since non-subscribers can post to the list.

I'm reading this in gnu.misc.discuss, and on Usenet one clearly marks
when an article is mailed in addition to being posted. It would be
considerate of you to add a standard line to your replies so that
Usenet readers can avoid emailing you (alone) instead of replying to
the group. 

>    Yes. If you buy a book, you can sell your copy. That is what first
>    sale is about - the copyright holder can control copying, but once
>    a copy has been sold (lawfully acquired), the copyright holder
>    cannot control what is done with that copy.
> Yes, but selling your copy is distribution.  So the person who sold
> the copy must accept the license and its terms; otherwise he is not
> allowed to sell/distribute it.

No, that's exactly what first sale is about. You are allowed to sell
your copy without accepting a license because the copyright holder does
not have the right to forbid the owner of a copy to sell it. 

Remember that you do not have to accept the GPL to obtain a lawful
copy, so all the provisions of the Copyright Statutes apply. First sale
is one of them, and it limits the rights granted to the copyright

> I don't see how the copyright holder gets into this mess.
>    Selling the original copy is specifically allowed by the Copyright
>    Statutes and is not distributing the work.
> I disagree, and the copyright statutes that I am familiar agree with
> me.  If you buy 10000 copies of FOO (book, CD, ...), and start selling
> them it is still distribution.

No, you can sell each and every copy that you bought without asking the
permission of the copyright holder. His rights are limited to
controlling the copying of the work and preparing derivative works. Once
the copies have been sold, the owner of the copy can sell, or destroy,
or give away that copy (or use it to wallpaper his toilet). What he
cannot do is make further copies, or prepare derivative works without
the consent of the copyright holder.

Have you never sold old books to a second-hand bookshop?

Take care,

Stefaan A Eeckels
"A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for."
                                -- Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper.

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