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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 17:06:16 -0400

"Robert Heller" <> wrote in message news:f7OdnYk7af6pdU3XnZ2dnUVZ_qidnZ2d@posted.localnet...
At Sat, 10 Oct 2009 14:32:50 -0400 "amicus_curious" <> wrote:

"Robert Heller" <> wrote in message
> If one has, for example, a shrink wrapped copy, never opened (and thus
> never installed), it is perfectly legal to re-sell that copy.  I
> believe that was's case.  Once you install it (eg open the
> box), then one 'has made a copy'.  If you resell the box/CD/whatever,
> someone ends up with a non-legal copy (assuming that the software in
> question was not GPL or other open source, which was the case with the
> eBay vender vs Autodesk case that defended).
That appears to be a wrong understanding of the facts presented in the case. The eBay vendor obtained these used copies of AutoCAD from sources that had
moved to newer versions and had obtained the original materials.  In the

Which I guess implies that the original version was de-installed (the
copy on the hard drive was deleted in favor of the new version).  No
unauthorized *copies* would exist.

case of the GPL, there is no need to root around getting old copies, you can
just as easily obtain a new copy at zero cost.  Now that new copy can be
passed on as one pleases, with or without source, following the logic of the
eBay/AutoCAD case.

If it is passed on *as is*, there is no need to include the sources --
since the source is itself available from the same source as the new copy.
The GPL does not require you to re-distribute the sources if you didn't
modify them, you just need to be sure to include some kind of 'pointer'
to those sources.  You only have to make the source code *available*.

You are not very up on the GPL, I think. That failure of making publication of the original, unmodified source was the only bone of contention in the half dozen cases that the SFLC are trouting as GPL victories in court.

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