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Re: Settlements

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Settlements
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 09:57:32 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.92 (gnu/linux)

RJack <> writes:

> Hyman Rosen wrote:
>> On 2/26/2010 12:05 PM, RJack wrote:
>>> Hyman Rosen wrote:
>>>> The GPL requires that its provisions be honored as a condition of
>>>>  granting permission to copy and distribute a covered work.
>>> Back to denial already Hyman? Please identify the section of 17 USC
>>> 106 where "causing" someone "to license" a work conflicts with a
>>> specific exclusive right of an owner of copyrights.
>> The GPL requires that as a condition to copy and distribute a covered
>> work, you must license the whole work at no charge to all others. I
>> have no idea what your question above even means; the English seems
>> not quite right.
> It seems that everyone in the World except a few GNUtians understand
> that "licensing" (the act of contract formation) doesn't require the
> copying and distribution of source code.

Contract formation requires the consent of two parties.  Most software
licensing schemes require an explicit act of the licensee to yield
rights that copyright laws would grant him as the purchaser of the
media.  There is some debate about what forms of shrinkwrap licenses
("by breaking this seal you agree to be bound to the following terms,
return the media if you don't want to") or click-thru licenses ("Click
`I agree' to the following obnoxious license terms or return the
software for a refund") are actually legally binding, but the whole
point is that there is an attempt to have the licensee express explicit
agreement to yield rights he otherwise would be granted.

The GPL does not attempt to restrict your rights under copyright law.
There is no act of contract formation.  Making use of the GPL is a
voluntary act and decision of the licensee, he can use the software for
the normal purpose granted by copyright laws without heeding the GPL at
all.  But there is nothing other than the GPL that grants you a priori
(i.e., without negotiation a different deal with the copyright holder)
permission to copy and distribute source or binaries beyond what is
allowed to you under copyright laws' definition of fair use.

David Kastrup

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