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Re: Big blow to GPL linking nonsense.

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Big blow to GPL linking nonsense.
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:55:43 -0000
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On 5/16/2010 10:50 AM, RJack wrote:
The following decision probably settles most questions touching upon
copyright law and dynamically linking to open source code and vice

It does nothing of the sort, and there is nothing in this
decision that impacts upon the GPL at all.

The case is Krause v. Titleserv,
and it is about the owner of a copy of a computer program
being permitted to make changes to it:
    Titleserv moved for summary judgment on the basis of 17 U.S.C.
    § 117(a)(1) (as well as on other grounds). Section 117(a)(1)
    provides an affirmative defense against copyright infringement
    for anyone who (i) owns a physical copy of a computer program,
    (ii) makes an adaptation "as an essential step in the utilization
    of the computer program in conjunction with a machine," and (iii)
    uses it "in no other manner." The district court, following the
    recommendation of Magistrate Judge William D. Wall, concluded
    there was no genuine issue of material fact and granted summary
    judgment in favor of Titleserv.

    On appeal, Krause challenges the district court's interpretation
    and application of § 117(a)(1). We affirm.

The GPL says, <>,
    To “modify” a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of
    the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than
    the making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a
    “modified version” of the earlier work or a work “based on” the
    earlier work.
    A “covered work” means either the unmodified Program or a work
    based on the Program.
    To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables
    other parties to make or receive copies.
    You may make, run and propagate covered works that you do not
    convey, without conditions so long as your license otherwise
    remains in force.

The rights granted by 17 USC 117 are thus at least restated and
likely broadened by the GPL.

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