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Re: Is CVS free for commercial development?

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: Is CVS free for commercial development?
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 19:38:25 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Friday, June 22, 2001 at 13:59:36 (-0500), Schroder, Bart R wrote: ]
> Subject: Is CVS free for commercial development?
> I understand that the CVS code repository software is free for individual
> non-commercial development, but is it free if a large multinational
> corporation uses it for commercial development?

I think you have a grave misunderstanding about copyright law.

Copyright licenses basically only cover the rights to COPY something
(there are other things often protected by copyright, such as the
reputation of the author, etc., but those are all irrelevant here).

Copyright law CANNOT EVER prevent the owner of any legally obtained copy
of some software from running it for any purpose whatsoever (at least
not in any reasonably sane legal jurisdiction).  (Just as it can't
prevent you from writing in the margins of your personal copy of any
book, or indeed even of burning your own personal copy of any book!)

The only type of license that can possibly ever bind a user into
executing software for only specifically authorised purposes is one that
takes the form of a legally binding contract -- i.e. where you literally
agree to use some non-free software only for some specific purpose(s),
and your access to that software is governed by your willingness to make
such an agreement (and perhaps also meet other terms, such as payment of
fees, etc.), and where any breach of your agreement will cause the other
party to extract penalties from you (and probably to also withdraw your
legal right to use their non-free software too).

No contract is entered into when you anonymously retrieve a freely
redistributable copy of the CVS software.

In this case even in a jurisdiction strangled by an unfair shrink-wrap
contract law you would still not ever be prevented from using CVS for
whatever purposes you might desire, since it is _explicitly_ _freely_

                                                        Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <address@hidden>     <address@hidden>
Planix, Inc. <address@hidden>;   Secrets of the Weird <address@hidden>

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