[Top][All Lists]

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

Re: Circumventing the GPL

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: Circumventing the GPL
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 11:39:05 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <q00ik.6789$>,
 Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
> Tim Smith wrote:
> > 1. Acquire a lawful copy of a GPL binary.  Doesn't matter how--download 
> > it from somewhere, compile it from source, whatever.
> > 2. Make copies of the binary.  GPL says this is OK.
> > 3. Sell or give away those copies.  They are lawfully made copies, and 
> > the person owns those particular copies, so this seems to fall under 
> > first sale.
> Nope. GPL3p2 says
>      "You may make, run and propagate covered works that you
>       do not convey, without conditions so long as your license
>       otherwise remains in force."

Ah, but what about GPLv3 section 0, which includes this:

   To ³propagate² a work means to do anything with it that, without 
   permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for 
   infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on 
   a computer or modifying a private copy. Propagation includes 
   copying, distribution (with or without modification), making 
   available to the public, and in some countries other activities as 

If you are distributing your copies under the protection of first sale, 
then that is not propagation, as defined in the first sentence of that 
paragraph.  The second paragraph says propagation includes distribution, 
but the question then arises is that meant to be independent of the 
first sentence, or is it illustrative?  That is, does it only include 
distribution that would make you liable under copyright law?

I believe the FSF's position is that GPL (all versions) does not take 
away any rights--it only gives you additional rights above what 
copyright law allows.  Based on that, I'd assume that GPL does not try 
to punish you for exercising first sale rights.

--Tim Smith

reply via email to

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