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Re: GNU licenses

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 09:44:21 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

I wrote:
> "Finding it on some server" involves creating a copy on your
> computer.  If you own the computer you own the copy.

David Kastrup writes:
> Not at all.  Putting a found book into my bag does not imply that owning
> the bag makes me own the book.

False analogy.  Copying a file from a Web server to my computer is not at
all the same as picking up a copy of a book.  A better analogy would be
photographing a billboard.  That analogy is still defective, however, since
a billboard can serve its purpose without being photographed.

> Either I have been making the copy as an agent of the party owning the
> server, and I can't become an agent of that party without any appropriate
> agreement, or I have made the copy without permission.

Implicit in my statement is that the server in question is publically
accessible, and that the URL of the file in question is published there
with no access controls.  Clearly, publishing something on the Web grants
an implicit license to the public to make those copies necessary to view
it: that's the whole point of the Web.

> You'll find that selling any media or hardware (including a complete
> computer) preloaded is not one of the rights somebody who has hacked and
> downloaded a copy of anything onto his computer has acquired in the
> process.

We are not discussing copies acquired by cracking a server.

John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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