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Re: [upcoming] The European Court of Justice on 'Software' First Sale

From: Tim Jackson
Subject: Re: [upcoming] The European Court of Justice on 'Software' First Sale
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2012 17:20:35 +0100
User-agent: MicroPlanet-Gravity/3.0.4

On Mon, 01 Oct 2012 10:34:49 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote...
> You seem to not grok a rather simple concept: lawful ownership 
> of a copy incorporating work verbatim or even a copy incorporating 
> derivative work gives the owner of that copy all the rights to 
> distribute **that copy** without restrictions ("conditions" in 
> GNUspeak) as far as copyright law is concerned no matter who 
> (lawfully) made that copy.

I've emphasised the words "that copy" in your post above.  Lawful 
ownership gives no right whatsoever to make or distribute *further* 

There's only one way that someone can get such a right to further 
copies: from the copyleft licence, with all its conditions.  Thus the 
copyleft licence is not rendered impotent.   

If they haven't accepted the copyleft licence, all the lawful owner can 
do is to use **that one copy** that they've lawfully acquired.  Or to 
transfer on **that one copy**.  Whereupon the new transferee is likewise 
only able to use or transfer that one copy (unless they accept the 
copyleft licence).  

To do more would infringe the copyright.  

The recent CJEU decision merely provides a mechanism to implement that 
when the copy is licensed.  The previous owner must make his copy 
unusable, and the transferee can make a new copy in its place.  The new 
owner could later perform a similar transfer.  

But no further copies can be made or distributed -- except under the 
conditions of the copyleft licence.  Contrary to your OP, copyleft has 
not died.

I think your problem is that you are seeing a new owner who potentially 
hasn't accepted the conditions of the copyleft licence.  But that means 
that neither does he get the freedoms that also come with the copyleft 
licence.  If he makes or distributes new copies, or makes a modified 
copy, he would infringe the copyright. 

Tim Jackson
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