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Re: Circumventing the GPL

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Circumventing the GPL
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 09:50:25 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Tim Smith <> writes:

> In article <858wvp7jpc.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> wrote:
>> >> You can claim either agreement or non-agreement with the conditions.
>> >> Your choice.  In the latter case, you had no permission to copy in the
>> >> first place.
>> >
>> > Ah, but note that in my hypothetical, when I made the copies, I had no 
>> > intention of distributing them.  I was making them for my own use, and 
>> > did use all of them.  Thus, at the time they were made, they were 
>> > "lawfully made".
>> If I let go of a brick above your head with the firm intention to catch
>> it again, and then I decide otherwise, that's fine?  Because there is no
>> duty for people to catch bricks?
> Poor analogy.  Letting go of a brick above my head, with the intention 
> to catch it (and even if you in fact did catch it, so I come to no 
> harm), would still be assault.

Then every driver who puts his foot on the accelerator is assaulting a
lot of people since it requires him to take the foot off again (or even
brake!), an active action, to stop the car.

>> > Can that later act retroactively change the creation of the copies
>> > from lawful to unlawful?
>> You stop heeding your part of the deal and you stop having your
>> rights.  Simple as that.
> But if the copy was lawful, I don't *need* any GPL rights in order to
> distribute it, so the question remains: is whether or not a copy is
> lawfully made determined at the time the copy is made, or can it
> depend on later events?

It can be _decided_ by later events.  Like loading a gun may or may not
be preparation to murder.  Further actions decide what it has been.

Sort of a quantum dilemma.  It is like the "I have never loved you"
realization in a relationship.  Once you realize it, it has always been
that way.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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