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Re: GNU licenses

From: Merijn de Weerd
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 15:02:17 +0200

On Tue,  5 Sep 2006 14:17:13 +0200 (CEST), "Alfred M. Szmidt"
<> said:
>    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.

It's true that I am prohibited from doing something unless I am
licensed. But I am physically able to do the act without being licensed. 

>    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.

I am performing an act which is illegal unless licensed.
There exists a license that says "performance of the act indicates your
acceptance of the license".

It does *not* logically follow that I therefore am licensed by doing the
act. You are assuming that it's impossible to do things that are illegal

People can and do violate copyrights. That does not mean the copyright
holder can hold them to arbitrary license terms. He sues them for
violation of the copyright and recovers damages (maybe with punitive
damages as well). Maybe the police will arrest them. But the license
does not come into play.


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