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Re: GNU License, Again

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 01:13:55 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
>> Anyway, you are aware that a software license does not govern a work,
>> but a transaction transferring a particular copy?
> Software is literary work. A copyright licensee governs rights (modulo 
> limitations) regarding (protected elements in) work. One doesn't need 
> to be an owner of a copy in order to become a party to a copyright 
> license.
> One can reproduce works (and do other things reserved to copyright
> owners like for example public performance) from brain's memory.

Copyright does not provide a license for doing so.  The decisive
factor here is _not_ the work, but rather the _copying_ process
through the brains memory.  As an example, in the software world, a
"cleanroom process" is often employed where one team assembles a
description of software, and another, different one, implements from
that description.  Copyright is granted for the output of a creative
process, and for the resulting representation.  If that cleanroom
process happens to reproduce the same structures/algorithms/idioms by
_chance_, then the _identical_ work is not restricted by copyright.

So it is clear that copyright is, indeed, bound to actual copies of a
work, copies that save time and work for a creative process leading to
a unique expression.  Even though these copies might happen through

>> That is the reason that the same software can be licensed under
>> different licenses,
> More bullshit. Those are simply different contracts (offers) all
> governing rights in the same work.

Where is the contradiction?

> A would-be licensee simply has a choice to become a party to any of
> those license contracts that the work is licensed under.

Uh no.  I was not talking about multiple-license models where the
licensee can freely choose.  You can, for example, license the same
software binary-only for a fixed price, GPL for a larger price, and
BSD-licensed for an even larger price.  Those are different products.
There are a few outlets that do multiple licensings in similar style.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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