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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:53:19 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

David Kastrup wrote:
> Sigh.  A program is not a legally responsible entity.  The responsible
> party is the _writer_ of the program.  I can't push away the
> responsibility about what a program of mine does to somebody else.
> Computer viruses are _exclusively_ executed by people different from the
> virus author, on thousands of computers.  Does it make _them_ reponsible
> for what their computers do?  Does it make the infected _programs_
> responsible?  Does it make the _computers_ responsible?  Does it make
> the _virus_ responsible?
> No, the responsible party is the virus _author_.  What happens is a
> consequence of what _he_ did and intended.

The reason for that is the law:
    (5)(A)(i) knowingly causes the transmission of a program,
    information, code, or command, and as a result of such
    conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization,
    to a protected computer;

Virus writers did not automatically become criminals. The law needed
to be amended to make them so. Barring such a special law, actions
done by a computer program are the responsibility of the person who
causes that program to run.

In any case, the actions taken by a computer pursuant to readying a
dynamically loaded library for execution are explicitly defined as
not infringing by US copyright law and are permitted by the GPL with
no restriction.

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