[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Circumventing the GPL

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Circumventing the GPL
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 21:39:15 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080213)

John Hasler wrote:
Hyman writes:
Why does it have to be arms-length?

In order to be a first sale under the intent of the law.
> "First sale" clearly contemplates a transaction such as
> walking into a bookstore, grabbing a book, plunking down
> $20, and walking out.

    TITLE 17 CHAPTER 1 § 109
    § 109. Limitations on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer
    of particular copy or phonorecord
    (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 (3), the
    owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under
    this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled,
    without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or
    otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.

Pure and simple. If you have a legally made copy of a copyrighted
work, you can sell it.

You propose a contract wherein the seller gives up some of his
> exclusive rights as author. Surely you don't expect the court
> to let A get away with not providing source when A has acquired
> the exclusive right to do so.

Authors can give up some exclusive rights. That happens all
the time, such as when they make agreements with publishers.
In the scenario I propose, the author has completely honored
the GPL - with every copy he sells, he includes the source,
and has no further obligation.

There may be a deal he has entered into not to distribute the
program in particular ways, but that's fine - he's the author,
he's not obligated to distribute if he doesn't want to.

The person who has purchased the copy is then free to sell it
without getting permission from the copyright holder, the author.
Because that sale does not require a license, the recipient has
not received it under the terms of the GPL, and has no one from
whom he can demand the source code.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]