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Re: Compliance detection tool

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Compliance detection tool
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 14:30:34 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091204 Thunderbird/3.0

On 4/20/2010 1:25 PM, RJack wrote:
There is *no* legal definition of what an "open" license is

Open licenses authorize actions otherwise prohibited by copyright
law provided that persons using this authorization comply with
provisions specified by the license. The licenses are open in the
sense that they are generally offered to anyone who has a copy of
the covered work, they require no communication from the person
using the authorization to the rights holder, and they allow for
further recipients to avail themselves of the same permissions.

They differ in obvious ways from normal copyright licenses which
are two-party agreements where the rights holder authorizes copying
and distribution in exchange for some consideration and both parties
sign off on the deal.

What you fail to realize, in your hatred of the principles for which
the GPL stands, is that courts will find, and have found, that open
licenses make sense, and are a legitimate expression of the exclusive
rights granted by copyright law. You can bring out your law dictionary
definitions all you like, but when something makes powerful sense, it
will be accepted. It's not unlike the Supreme Court allowing recording
of broadcast television for time-shifting. It appeared to many to be a
slam-dunk case of infringement, and indeed, four of the justices thought
so, and yet it was declared legal.

The CAFC decision points the way.

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