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Re: More FSF hypocrisy

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: More FSF hypocrisy
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 19:14:54 -0400

"Thufir Hawat" <> wrote in message news:LhSyl.103614$Rg3.50446@newsfe17.iad...
On Thu, 26 Mar 2009 09:05:53 -0400, amicus_curious wrote:

When an end user gets a copy of a commercial software program from a
warez site or just by borrowing a DVD from the office or a friend, that
is not true.  That end user is not authorized to use the software and
the copyright owner can take some sort of action to get compensation, if
only to nag the user constantly via some means.  That is what it says in
the EULA.

That is what is different about the GPL, I think, namely that the end
user arrives at the same endpoint condition and the copyright owner is
in the same condition regardless of the way that the software is

Going with the Verizon example, I disagree.  When the end user received
the binaries there was no GPL notice, so I see how the EU is bound by the
GPL.  OTOH, that binary was no more legit than a borrowed DVD.

I do not understand what you are saying here. The end user has the use of the device which includes the software element and has full legal use of the device as well. It doesn't matter how he obtained the device. If Verizon was deficient and unable to properly convey the license, the GPL assigns it to the end user automatically anyway. The end user has a license regardless.

 If there were a black box connecting the copyright owner to
the end user, you could not ever say just what was in the box, only that
some mechanism existed for conveying the software from the owner to the

After conveying the license to use the software to the end user, the GPL
goes on and on about what is allowed to be in the black box.  I don't
think that the courts really care.  They can only assess what variance
there may be in the condition of the copyright owner based on what
happens in the black box and, if there is no measurable effect, there
can be no corrective action taken or compensation awarded.

Could the end user in receipt of the Verizon router end up owing
copyright fines?  Well, only if the binary were illegitimate.  So, if an
EU started distributing that binary, I think there would be consequences.

That is not possible since the GPL gives anyone who possesses the binary a license to use it. Now we are first of all just talking about end users. Don't confuse the issue with considerations for distributors.

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