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Re: GNU licenses

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 14:17:13 +0200 (CEST)

   >    If I distribute illegally, I am not bound by the license. See
   >    you in federal court for copyright infringement. I won't have
   >    to see you in state court where you try to compel specific
   >    performance of the license.
   > What you are basically saying is: If I commit murder, then I am
   > not bound by the law.  Obviously, you are bound by the law, and
   > in the case of violating the license, bound by the license.

   Your analogy is not valid. A license is not the law. It's an
   agreement between parties: you allow me to do something, I will do
   something in return. I am not bound by that until and unless I
   *choose* to do so.

A copyright license is a extention of law, if the license does not
allow you to do something, you are prohibited by law to do it.  So my
analogy is infact valid.

   I am not bound by that until and unless I *choose* to do so.

And since you did choose to do so in the instance of copying/modifying
a GNU GPLed work, you are bound by the GNU GPL.

   Think about it. I can put a sign next to my door saying "If you
   enter my house, you indicate you are willing to paint my walls for
   free". If you then voluntarily enter, I can hold you to that sign
   and you're going to have to start painting. You saw the sign, you
   knew I needed someone to paint my walls, and now you're it.

You confuse contract law with copyright law.

   A burglar who breaks into my house the next night is committing a
   felony. I can call the police and have him arrested. He'll be
   sentenced to jail or he may have to pay a fine. According to you I
   can instead force him to paint my walls because of the sign.

He entered your house, the agreement between you and the person who
entered the house is that he will paint the walls.  So yes, either he
paints the walls, or pays a fine/goes to jail.


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