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Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 09:40:23 -0500

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message 85fxi6u9li.fsf@lola.goethe.zz">news:85fxi6u9li.fsf@lola.goethe.zz...
"amicus_curious" <> writes:

"Alan Mackenzie" <> wrote in message

You could make the same sort of argument about any "petty" peccadillo.
Why bother prosecuting a fare dodger for a 2 Euro fare?  Seems a bit
disproportionate, doesn't it?

Do they arraign and prosecute people for this in your town?

Well, we only have fares for the bus riders and if you don't pay, the driver throws you off. How would you even manage to keep score as to how many times a person "dodged a fare" for two bucks? How many times can you do it before they come looking for you?

After a number of repetitive offenses, this actually happens.  Yes.  I
should be surprised if things are much different at your place.

It's straightforward enough that you barely even need to consult a
lawyer.  You need to put a tarball of your source code up on your
company's website.  Half a day's work to read the GPL, understand it,
create the tarball and put it on the site.

And if, somehow, you manage to get even that wrong, you can put it
right on receiving that dreaded letter from the SFLC, or from the
copyright holders.

How big a deal is it to just ignore it?  Even less work.

Sure.  You can also ignore the rights of a supermarket owner when
visiting it, but you need not expect that either the workers or law
officers find that overly amusing.

Ignoring laws comes at a price.

They just complain to the manufacturer and maybe their needs are
taken care of in a subsequent release, maybe not.  Who can afford to
learn enough about Linux or OO or any other big program to the point
where they can effectively make modifications?

Me.  David Kastrup, too.

Well, maybe you are that inefficient, but I think you are just

Hm?  We _are_ the "manufacturers" for a lot of free software.  And yes,
I have patched proprietary software (drivers, Pascal runtimes and
others) in the binaries for removing bugs that were hampering my work
flow.  It is a nuisance to debug using only binaries.  It is not a
matter of efficiency: if you think you can tell somebody like Digital
Research to please fix a system call from some driver DLL, you are
simply deluded about your influence and their response time and response

You seem to be a little out of touch. Digital Research was crushed by Microsoft some years ago. But in any case you would have to offer much more detail as to your prowess with such things. I still think you are just bluffing. Certainly anyone with such work to do wouldn't have time to waste around here. We .NET folk, OTOH, have time to burn.

Stallman is living in the 70s or worse.

Yet, somehow, the GPL remains the most popular license, by an
overwhelming margin.  If your notions on the GPL were accurate, it
would by now have dwindled to unimportance and been superseded by a
BSD license, or whatever.  There're no signs of that happening.

Linux uses it, but not the latest version, apparently the copyright
owner has some problems with that.

There are several thousands copyright owners if you are talking about
the kernel.  You need all their agreement for a license upgrade.  The
FSF has its own opinion about just how smart that was.  If you are
talking about the user land, a lot of it is migrating to GPLv3.  After
all, large portions are (c) FSF anyway.

There you go waving your hands in the thin air again. What are the top 4 FOSS programs that have moved from GPLv2 to v3?

Apache has something else, I know.  Ditto PHP. I'm not so sure MySQL
is even open anymore.  I don't bother with it, but Sun seems to be
locking things down.

Hm?  I thought they were opening up the parts previously proprietary.

You might want to read their latest license agreements. For example if you have a web site for some little side business, you cannot use the latest release of MySQL to keep track of things on your site, you must buy the commercial license. Interestingly enough, you can use Microsoft SQL 2000 Express edition to run your business if you can keep your data files under 4Gb, which is the limit for it and do it for free.

Have you compared the sort of "hassle" a user might get from SDLC
with what he might get on violating some other type of license, say a
proprietary one from Microsoft, or Oracle, or some other major
software maker?

That is very hard to do, I think.  Other than illegally copying the
binaries, how are you going to violate their licenses?  Certainly
people have made illegal copies galore and generally get away with the
act.  If they use it commercially, though, they are often found out
and prosecuted. It is hardly a hassle, it is a serious amount of money
whereas the need to post yet another copy of BusyBox is much more of a
trivial irritation, particularly when offered as part of a lawsuit.

Serious amount of money when done commercially?  More likely serious
jail terms.  It is somewhat disconcerting that copyright violations tend
to get longer jail terms than manslaughter and rape.

I don't think that you are talking about the USofA here. No one in my memory has ever gone to jail for piracy of software or music or any other copyright violation. All the horror stories about the BSA prosecution on behalf of Microsoft are only in regard to collecting fees owed. I guess if you prosecute people for not paying their fares, you might jail them for copying music and software, too. I wouldn't want to live where you are.

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