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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 16:58:55 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Hyman Rosen wrote:
> [...]
>> You miss the essential difference - when you download a copy of
>> a GPLed program, it is you who is making the copy, and therefore
>> you are bound by the license (if you choose to be; if not, then
> Let NYSD.USCOURTS.GOV know about that, Hyman. <chuckles>
> <quote>
> unlike the user of Netscape Navigator or other click-wrap or shrink-
> wrap licensees, the individual obtaining SmartDownload is not made 
> aware that he is entering into a contract. SmartDownload is available 
> from Netscape's web site free of charge. Before downloading the
> software, the user need not view any license agreement terms or even 
> any reference to a license agreement, and need not do anything to 
> manifest assent to such a license agreement other than actually 
> taking possession of the product. From the user's vantage point, 
> SmartDownload could be analogized to a free neighborhood newspaper, 
> readily obtained from a sidewalk box or supermarket counter without 
> any exchange with a seller or vender. It is there for the taking.
> [...]

But I can't take the "free neighbourhood newspaper", snap photographs of
its underwear models and sell them to underwear admirers.  That is, I am
free to take the literal existing copies.  I can hand them on.  But
nothing allows me to create my own copies with my own copying mechanism
or _modify_ existing copies and create derivatives for distributing.

What I _can_ do is grab every free neighbourhood newspaper I can get and
sell them on Ebay.  But I can't make my own copies or modifications
without permission and distribute them as original works.

David Kastrup

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