The worst that can happen to GPLed code

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Chris Jefferson

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Jun 14, 2004, 11:08:22 AM6/14/04
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First of all, let me say Hello!

Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
altered versions" style licence.

The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
happen to GPLed code. Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me, what
is the worst someone can do?

Some example thoughts we had..

1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices from
both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their own on

2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and then
redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving our
copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about box),
making it look like we wrote the evil version.

Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL, that
isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such that
it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:

1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of
all libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed by
default)

2) We can't write code that depends on VC.net as it's compiler (say, not
that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile it
themselves without buying VC.net.

Thank you for your help, sorry if I'm asking FAQs, and please try not to
start a flame war ;)

Chris

Brian Gough

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Jun 14, 2004, 12:39:31 PM6/14/04
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Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

> Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
> working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
> licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
> friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
> altered versions" style licence.

Chris,

Both the scenarios you suggest would allow to you make a legal case
against someone.

Removing copyright notices is not permitted regardless of the license,
since you remain the copyright holder, and the GPL contains a clause
(2a) saying that anyone distributing modified versions "must cause the
modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the
files and the date of any change".

For more info, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

Whether or not you choose to use it, the GPL is well tested and it
also has the advantage that violators tend to be censured by the
community as a whole -- whereas if you go with a non-standard license
you are pretty much on your own.

--
Brian Gough

Network Theory Ltd,
Publishing Free Software Manuals --- http://www.network-theory.co.uk/

John Hasler

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Jun 14, 2004, 1:17:53 PM6/14/04
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Chris Jefferson writes:
> I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my friends would perfer a "you
> can read the code, but you can't distribute altered versions" style
> licence.

The latter would result in your program never getting into any Linux
distributions.

> Some example thoughts we had..

> 1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices from
> both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their own on

This would be a violation of the GPL, but then it'd be a violation of your
"you can read the code, but you can't distribute altered versions" license
as well. No license can prevent people from doing things you don't want
them to do. It can only give you the right to sue them for it.


> 2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and then
> redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving our
> copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about box),
> making it look like we wrote the evil version.

If the version was truly evil this would be libel, and perhaps fraud as
well.

I've never heard of this happening.

> 1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of all
> libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed by
> default)

Not if they are dynamically linked. If they are statically linked you must
comply with the library license.

> 2) We can't write code that depends on VC.net as it's compiler (say, not
> that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile it
> themselves without buying VC.net.

You can.

The GPL is a grant of rights from you to the recipients of copies of your
work. It tells them that you grant them the right to distribute copies and
derivatives on the condition that they comply with your requirements. Thus
it places no requirements at all on you.
--
John Hasler
jo...@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

Chris Jefferson

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Jun 14, 2004, 4:34:27 PM6/14/04
to
Brian Gough wrote:
> Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:
>
>
>>Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
>>working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
>>licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
>>friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
>>altered versions" style licence.
>
>
> Chris,
>
> Both the scenarios you suggest would allow to you make a legal case
> against someone.
>
Thanks.. just a couple more questions :)

If we put the binary on the website, I get the feeling we have to
promise to provide the source FOREVER to anyone who gets a copy of the
binary. Surely we don't have to give the source away forever? can we
offer the source to download next to the binary and tell people to
download both then claim they had the opportunity to get the source and
if the didn't take it, tough?


I'm reading this:
The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a
special exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable.

Neither mingw or vc++7.1 come with a copy of make or autoconf by
default. Do we have to distribute them?

The directX headers aren't distributed either, but you can download them
from microsoft's website at the moment. However microsoft has removed
old versions of the headers as time goes on? So do we have to distribute
them?

Old versions of windows don't come with directX 8. Do we have to
distribute that? DirectX 8 wasn't "normally distributed" with windows 95
,clearly isn't under the GPL and could be removed by microsoft at a
later date. In that case can we even use directX unless we get a directX
redistribution licence, and even then it's surely a non-gpled library?

Sorry for the questions, but I'm wondering exactly where the line
between "things that come with operating system / compiler" and
"external libraries" should be drawn.


Erik de Castro Lopo

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Jun 14, 2004, 5:14:22 PM6/14/04
to
Chris Jefferson wrote:
>
> First of all, let me say Hello!
>
> Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
> working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
> licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
> friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
> altered versions" style licence.
>
> The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
> happen to GPLed code.

If thats the case then don't use the GPL, but don't tell me not to.

> Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me, what
> is the worst someone can do?
>
> Some example thoughts we had..
>
> 1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices from
> both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their own on

There have already been a couple of cases of companies distributing
binaries derived from GPL sources which the company claimed was their
own code. A quick disassembly of the code showed otherwise and the
company was publicly humiliated.

Stealing and releasing source code like this is far, far, FAR more
difficult.

> 2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and then
> redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving our
> copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about box),
> making it look like we wrote the evil version.

If it was a binary only version, then yes its possible, but again,
a comparison with the real binary would quickly reveal the truth.

You should also note that if you release a binary only product,
a semi skilled cracker/virus writer could still modify that
binary to do evil things even without the source code.

> Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL, that
> isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

Possible yes, but in both cases, the truth is relatively easy
to come by.

> Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such that
> it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:
>
> 1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of
> all libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed by
> default)

No.


> 2) We can't write code that depends on VC.net as it's compiler (say, not
> that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile it
> themselves without buying VC.net.

Nope, all you have to do is release the source. If it doesn't compile
for people thats their problem.

Erik
--
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
Erik de Castro Lopo nos...@mega-nerd.com (Yes it's valid)
+-----------------------------------------------------------+
"No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would
all the calculators go?" -- Kryten, Red Dwarf

Barry Margolin

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Jun 14, 2004, 5:27:03 PM6/14/04
to
In article <cal259$jcl$1...@pump1.york.ac.uk>,
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:

> Brian Gough wrote:
> > Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:
> >
> >
> >>Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
> >>working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
> >>licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
> >>friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
> >>altered versions" style licence.
> >
> >
> > Chris,
> >
> > Both the scenarios you suggest would allow to you make a legal case
> > against someone.
> >
> Thanks.. just a couple more questions :)
>
> If we put the binary on the website, I get the feeling we have to
> promise to provide the source FOREVER to anyone who gets a copy of the
> binary. Surely we don't have to give the source away forever? can we
> offer the source to download next to the binary and tell people to
> download both then claim they had the opportunity to get the source and
> if the didn't take it, tough?

I think putting both binary and source next to each other on a
distribution site is generally considered to meet the requirement to
"accompany [the binary form] with the ... source code" in section 3a of
the GPL.

Also, even if it didn't, where did you get the idea that you have to
provide source code forever? Section 3b specifically says "Accompany it
with a written offer, valid for at least three years...." You could
make it valid forever if you wanted, but you're only required to support
3 years.

>
>
> I'm reading this:
> The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
> making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
> code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
> associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
> control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a
> special exception, the source code distributed need not include
> anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
> form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
> operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
> itself accompanies the executable.
>
> Neither mingw or vc++7.1 come with a copy of make or autoconf by
> default. Do we have to distribute them?

No, I don't think those are considered "scripts used to control
compilation and installation of the executable." That line is talking
about the CONFIGURE and/or INSTALL scripts that might be needed (which
could be generated using autoconf, I suppose).

>
> The directX headers aren't distributed either, but you can download them
> from microsoft's website at the moment. However microsoft has removed
> old versions of the headers as time goes on? So do we have to distribute
> them?
>
> Old versions of windows don't come with directX 8. Do we have to
> distribute that? DirectX 8 wasn't "normally distributed" with windows 95
> ,clearly isn't under the GPL and could be removed by microsoft at a
> later date. In that case can we even use directX unless we get a directX
> redistribution licence, and even then it's surely a non-gpled library?
>
> Sorry for the questions, but I'm wondering exactly where the line
> between "things that come with operating system / compiler" and
> "external libraries" should be drawn.

Did you see the thread a couple of months ago? Someone was asking
similar questions about a database library. I don't remember if there
was a concensus reached.

--
Barry Margolin, bar...@alum.mit.edu
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***

David Kastrup

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Jun 14, 2004, 5:36:11 PM6/14/04
to
Barry Margolin <bar...@alum.mit.edu> writes:

> In article <cal259$jcl$1...@pump1.york.ac.uk>,
> Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > Brian Gough wrote:
> > > Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:
> > >
> > >
> > >>Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just
> > >>been working on a project with some friends and we are now
> > >>considering what licence to release it under. I'd quite like the
> > >>GPL, but a number of my friends would perfer a "you can read the
> > >>code, but you can't distribute altered versions" style licence.
> > >

> > > Both the scenarios you suggest would allow to you make a legal case
> > > against someone.
> > >
> > Thanks.. just a couple more questions :)
> >
> > If we put the binary on the website, I get the feeling we have to
> > promise to provide the source FOREVER to anyone who gets a copy of the
> > binary. Surely we don't have to give the source away forever? can we
> > offer the source to download next to the binary and tell people to
> > download both then claim they had the opportunity to get the source and
> > if the didn't take it, tough?
>
> I think putting both binary and source next to each other on a
> distribution site is generally considered to meet the requirement to
> "accompany [the binary form] with the ... source code" in section 3a of
> the GPL.
>
> Also, even if it didn't, where did you get the idea that you have to
> provide source code forever? Section 3b specifically says "Accompany it
> with a written offer, valid for at least three years...." You could
> make it valid forever if you wanted, but you're only required to support
> 3 years.

And only if you have not met 3a instead. If you always put up binary
and source code together up, according to 3a, nobody can blame you if
you take them down together again.

--
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

Alexander Terekhov

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Jun 14, 2004, 5:38:39 PM6/14/04
to

Brian Gough wrote:
[...]

> the GPL is well tested

By whom (and which interpretation)?

Attempts to extend the scope of share-alike reciprocation provision
to the entire compilations (including some other preexisting and
therefore necessarily nonderivative works) constitute misuse of the
copyright. Feel free to license any rights that the statute would
otherwise have reserved to you by default, but remember that there's
NO exclusive right to prepare collective works and that the first
sale doctrine applies to each and every lawful copy.

regards,
alexander.

David Kastrup

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Jun 14, 2004, 5:53:00 PM6/14/04
to
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> writes:

> Brian Gough wrote:
> [...]
> > the GPL is well tested
>
> By whom (and which interpretation)?

By the courts, and the FSF interpretation has not been overturned
anywhere.

> Attempts to extend the scope of share-alike reciprocation provision
> to the entire compilations (including some other preexisting and
> therefore necessarily nonderivative works) constitute misuse of the
> copyright.

No, they don't, since they are not covered by copyright. The GPL
grants _additional_ rights. Those can be restricted to persons
wearing a red cardboard nose if the licence issuer so desires. Misuse
of copyright is trying to restrict the _natural_ rights _guaranteed_
to you by copyright if you acquire a copy. Things like prohibiting
benchmarking and decompilation for making something run and so on.

> Feel free to license any rights that the statute would otherwise
> have reserved to you by default, but remember that there's NO
> exclusive right to prepare collective works and that the first sale
> doctrine applies to each and every lawful copy.

Sure. To each lawful copy obtained under copyright rules. You can
prepare a collective work with GNU software all you want to (copyright
gives you the right), but you may not redistribute copies of that
without explicit permission.

Alexander Terekhov

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Jun 14, 2004, 6:10:10 PM6/14/04
to

David Kastrup wrote:

[... copyright misuse ...]

<quote source=http://tinyurl.com/249sg>

Courts and commentators have attempted to distinguish the copyright
misuse defense from antitrust law by focusing on the equitable
nature of the doctrine as a clean hands defense and on the scope
limitation function that it provides.150 Inequitable conduct on
the part of the copyright holder need only offend the public policy
behind the copyright system to trigger the defense.151 As the Fourth
Circuit noted in Lasercomb:

[A] misuse need not be a violation of antitrust law in order to
comprise an equitable defense to an infringement action. The
question is not whether the copyright is being used in a manner
violative of antitrust law (such as whether the licensing
agreement is “reasonable”), but whether the copyright is being
used in a manner violative of the public policy embodied in the
grant of a copyright.152

Courts applying this rationale have looked specifically at
copyright licensing provisions and decided whether the scope of
the “limited monopoly” granted by the copyright is being
expanded.

</quote>

Now, apropos "offend the public policy behind the copyright
system"

http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/publications/dcm.html
http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/my_pubs/anarchism.html

I also like this:

<quote>

In all three cases, the copyright was used as leverage to gain
competitive advantage over licensees in areas beyond the scope
of the limited privileges conferred by the copyright

</quote>

Here we go:

http://www.mail-archive.com/license...@opensource.org/msg06852.html

<quote author=Moglen>

A library linked to a program? (i.e., Is this a derivative work
of the program?)

Moglen: Code statically linked to code constitutes a derivative
work of the code to which it is linked, without question,
regardless of license terms. More specifically, now regarding
licensing as well as the status of the work, code that cannot be
used at all unless dynamically linked to GPL'd code, and which
is distributed along with that GPL'd code, must be distributed
under the terms of the GPL. This provides a competitive advantage
to free software, requiring those who wish to make unfree software
to undertake proprietary reimplementation of feature sets only
available in GPL'd libraries, such as GNU readline.

</quote>

More: http://www.xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2004-March/004248.html

[... first sale ...]

> Sure. To each lawful copy obtained under copyright rules. You can
> prepare a collective work with GNU software all you want to (copyright
> gives you the right), but you may not redistribute copies of that
> without explicit permission.

That's not the law. Under first sale, I can redistribute copies
of GPL'ed works as part of my own compilations. The GPL applies
only to the GPL'ed works (and derivative literary works thereof).

<quote source=http://tinyurl.com/3c2n2>

3. Copyright Infringement Conclusion

In short, the transfer of copies of Adobe software making up the
distribution chain from Adobe to SoftMan are sales of the
particular copies, but not of Adobe's intellectual rights in the
computer program itself, which is protected by Adobe's copyright.

SoftMan is an "owner" of the copy and is entitled to the use and
enjoyment of the software, with the rights that are consistent
with copyright law. The Court rejects Adobe's argument that the
EULA gives to purchasers only a license to use the software. The
Court finds that SoftMan has not assented to the EULA and
therefore cannot be bound by its terms. Therefore, the Court
finds that Adobe has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on
the merits of its copyright infringement claim.

</quote>

Note that owners of the GPL'ed software lawfully own infinite
number of copies (pursuant to the GPL itself, which is a bare
copyright license, not a EULA). That doesn't mean that first
sale doctrine doesn't apply to each of them (backup copies
and adaptations aside for a moment).

See also

http://www.google.com/groups?selm=40240658.1B0A0E55%40web.de

Expansive FSF's claims are barred by the doctrine of copyright
misuse and the doctrine of first sale.

regards,
alexander.

David Kastrup

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Jun 14, 2004, 6:37:57 PM6/14/04
to
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> writes:

> That's not the law. Under first sale, I can redistribute copies
> of GPL'ed works as part of my own compilations.

Nope. I can't just redistribute copies of any books I buy as I feel
fit, for example. I can sell the book itself, the original copy.
That is not redistribution.

> The GPL applies only to the GPL'ed works (and derivative literary
> works thereof).

Sure. And the GPL allows redistribution of derived works outside of
the default copyright law only if you adhere to certain restrictions.

> <quote source=http://tinyurl.com/3c2n2>
>
> 3. Copyright Infringement Conclusion
>
> In short, the transfer of copies of Adobe software making up the
> distribution chain from Adobe to SoftMan are sales of the
> particular copies, but not of Adobe's intellectual rights in the
> computer program itself, which is protected by Adobe's copyright.
>
> SoftMan is an "owner" of the copy and is entitled to the use and
> enjoyment of the software, with the rights that are consistent
> with copyright law. The Court rejects Adobe's argument that the
> EULA gives to purchasers only a license to use the software. The
> Court finds that SoftMan has not assented to the EULA and
> therefore cannot be bound by its terms. Therefore, the Court
> finds that Adobe has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on
> the merits of its copyright infringement claim.
>
> </quote>

But this case is not about replication and redistribution, it is
about resale.

> Note that owners of the GPL'ed software lawfully own infinite number
> of copies (pursuant to the GPL itself, which is a bare copyright
> license, not a EULA).

Not if they don't agree to the GPL because only the GPL gives them the
right to do copies. If they don't agree to the GPL, they only own
those copies for which they can offer proof of purchase.

> Expansive FSF's claims are barred by the doctrine of copyright
> misuse and the doctrine of first sale.

Yes we know that's your favorite claim. It just happens not to bear
weight with the courts and legal departments that actually have to
deal with the GPL.

Alexander Terekhov

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Jun 14, 2004, 6:54:19 PM6/14/04
to

David Kastrup wrote:
[...]

> But this case is not about replication and redistribution, it is
> about resale.

For each copy of "infringing" collective work you sell/distribute,
I (or any one else) can "sell" you a copy of a GPL'ed work you need
that you can pass along without autorization of the copyright
owner(s) under first sale doctrine. Now go read tinyurl.com/3c2n2.
Here's a quote:

<quote>

Adobe's reliance on Tasini is misplaced. The critical distinction
is that Tasini does not address, as does the instant case, the
fate of an individual copy of any work under the first sale
doctrine. The Tasini Court reaffirmed that the owner of the
copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only
the privilege of distributing the contribution as part of that
particular collective work.17 In contrast, what Adobe alleges here
is quite different. In this case, Adobe seeks to control the resale
of a lawfully acquired copy of its software. Adobe's position in
this action would be more akin to a journalist who claimed that
ownership of the copyright to an article allowed him or her to
control the resale of a particular copy of a newspaper that
contained that article.

</quote>

[...]


> If they don't agree to the GPL,

I agree to the GPL Section 1.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

<quote source=http://tinyurl.com/3c2n2>

(1) First Sale Doctrine

The “first sale” doctrine was first analyzed by the United States
Supreme Court in Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, 210 U.S. 339 (1908).

[...]

One significant effect of § 109(a) is to limit the exclusive right
to distribute copies to their first voluntary disposition, and thus
negate copyright owner control over further or “downstream” transfer
to a third party. Quality King Distrib. v. L’Anza Research Int’l,
Inc., 523 U.S. 135, 142-44 (1998).

[...]

Adobe argues that the first sale doctrine does not apply because
Adobe does not sell or authorize any sale of its software. Adobe
characterizes each transaction throughout the entire stream of
commerce as a license.8 Adobe asserts that its license defines the
relationship between Adobe and any third-party such that a breach
of the license constitutes copyright infringement. This assertion
is not accurate because copyright law in fact provides certain
rights to owners of a particular copy. This grant of rights is
independent from any purported grant of rights from Adobe. The
Adobe license compels third-parties to relinquish rights that the
third-parties enjoy under copyright law.

[...]

(2) Sale v. License

(a) Historical Background

Historically, the purpose of “licensing” computer program copy use
was to employ contract terms to augment trade secret protection in
order to protect against unauthorized copying at a time when, first,
the existence of a copyright in computer programs was doubtful, and,
later, when the extent to which copyright provided protection was
uncertain. (See Rice Decl. ¶ 6.) Computer program copy use
“licensing” continued after federal courts interpreted the
Copyright Act to provide substantial protection for computer
programs as literary works. (Id. at ¶ 7.) In Step-Saver Data
Systems, Inc. v. Wise Technology, the Third Circuit examined the
historical development of the use of licensing in the software
industry and concluded that subsequent changes to the Copyright Act
had rendered the need to characterize the transaction as a license
“largely anachronistic.” 939 F.2d 91, 96 n.7 (3d Cir. 1991).10

(b) Adobe Sells its Software

A number of courts have held that the sale of software is the sale
of a good within the meaning of Uniform Commercial Code. Advent
Sys. Ltd. v. Unisys Corp., 925 F.2d 670, 676 (3d Cir. 1991); Step-
Saver, 929 F.2d at 99-100; Downriver Internists v. Harris Corp.,
929 F.2d 1147, 1150 (6th Cir. 1991).

[...]

Other courts have reached the same conclusion: software is sold
and not licensed.

[...]

In particular, the following factors require a finding that
distributing software under licenses transfers individual copy
ownership: temporally unlimited possession, absence of time
limits on copy possession, pricing and payment schemes that are
unitary not serial, licenses under which subsequent transfer is
neither prohibited nor conditioned on obtaining the licensor’s
prior approval (only subject to a prohibition against rental and
a requirement that any transfer be of the entity), and licenses
under which the use restrictions principal purpose is to protect
intangible copyrightable subject matter, and not to preserve
property interests in individual program copies. Id. at 172.

</quote>

regards,
alexander.

David Kastrup

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Jun 14, 2004, 7:20:53 PM6/14/04
to
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
> > But this case is not about replication and redistribution, it is
> > about resale.
>
> For each copy of "infringing" collective work you sell/distribute,
> I (or any one else) can "sell" you a copy of a GPL'ed work you need
> that you can pass along without autorization of the copyright
> owner(s) under first sale doctrine.

Sure, as long as I have proof of purchase for each of the physical
copies that I can't replicate myself without accepting the GPL.

> Now go read tinyurl.com/3c2n2. Here's a quote:

Look, quote master, all your quoting does not change that this is a
court case about simple resale of a copy, not replication.

> <quote>
>
> Adobe's reliance on Tasini is misplaced. The critical distinction
> is that Tasini does not address, as does the instant case, the
> fate of an individual copy of any work under the first sale
> doctrine. The Tasini Court reaffirmed that the owner of the
> copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only
> the privilege of distributing the contribution as part of that
> particular collective work.17 In contrast, what Adobe alleges here
> is quite different. In this case, Adobe seeks to control the resale
> of a lawfully acquired copy of its software. Adobe's position in
> this action would be more akin to a journalist who claimed that
> ownership of the copyright to an article allowed him or her to
> control the resale of a particular copy of a newspaper that
> contained that article.
>
> </quote>

See? The ruling talks about resale of a particular copy, not about a
"right" to replicate and redistribute.

> [...]
> > If they don't agree to the GPL,
>
> I agree to the GPL Section 1.

You can either agree to all or nothing. You can't cherrypick.

> Adobe argues that the first sale doctrine does not apply because
> Adobe does not sell or authorize any sale of its software. Adobe
> characterizes each transaction throughout the entire stream of
> commerce as a license.8 Adobe asserts that its license defines the
> relationship between Adobe and any third-party such that a breach
> of the license constitutes copyright infringement. This assertion
> is not accurate because copyright law in fact provides certain
> rights to owners of a particular copy. This grant of rights is
> independent from any purported grant of rights from Adobe. The
> Adobe license compels third-parties to relinquish rights that the
> third-parties enjoy under copyright law.

What about "owners of a particular copy" don't you understand?

> (2) Sale v. License
>
> (a) Historical Background
>
> Historically, the purpose of `licensing' computer program copy use
> was to employ contract terms to augment trade secret protection in
> order to protect against unauthorized copying at a time when, first,
> the existence of a copyright in computer programs was doubtful, and,
> later, when the extent to which copyright provided protection was

> uncertain. (See Rice Decl. ś 6.) Computer program copy use

> `licensing' continued after federal courts interpreted the
> Copyright Act to provide substantial protection for computer

> programs as literary works. (Id. at ś 7.) In Step-Saver Data

Fine, so we are talking about the sale of a copy here. And you may
resell that copy under copyright law. But copyright law itself does
not allow you to replicate your copy and sell the replications. The
only thing that allows that is the GPL, and it places conditions on
when you are allowed to redistribute replications.

Byron A Jeff

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 12:33:00 AM6/15/04
to
In article <cakf1o$452$1...@pump1.york.ac.uk>,
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:
-First of all, let me say Hello!
-
-Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll.

You know that's the typical first line of a troll! ;-)

-I've just been
-working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
-licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
-friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
-altered versions" style licence.

OK.

-
-The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
-happen to GPLed code. Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me, what
-is the worst someone can do?

-
-Some example thoughts we had..
-
-1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices from
-both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their own on

Not legally. And if you can show that it's your code you can enforce your
copyright and prevent them from distributing that code.

-
-2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and then
-redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving our
-copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about box),
-making it look like we wrote the evil version.

Not in the GPL. It requires prominent notices of changes that are made to the
sources. It's a nitpick requirement for exactly the situation outlined above.

-
-Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL, that
-isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

All things are possible. However as the copyright owner you have recourse
to correct them. In fact if you can show damage because of 2) above (i.e.
support time etc.) You could in theory collect damages from the infringer
if you can catch them.

-
-Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such that
-it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:
-
-1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of
-all libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed by
-default)

Nope. The GPL never states that you have to make it easy for the user to
recompile. What that phrase really means that you don't send them a printout
of the source so they'd have to type it back in. So it really means in
a user readable electronic format.

I get source code all the time that uses libraries that not distributed with
that source. It's not a requirement.

-
-2) We can't write code that depends on VC.net as it's compiler (say, not
-that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile it
-themselves without buying VC.net.

Not sure about that one. Anyone?

-
-Thank you for your help, sorry if I'm asking FAQs, and please try not to
-start a flame war ;)

No problem. Hope you consider releasing under the GPL. A good project will
snowball as more folks start developing for it.

BAJ

Per Abrahamsen

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 2:55:09 AM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

> The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
> happen to GPLed code. Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me,
> what is the worst someone can do?

Some evil overlord could take the GPL'ed code and use it to run a
doomsday device that will convert all mass in the universe into
energy, thus killing all life and all potentiel for life now and for
ever.

This is why I always distribute my code under a "no evil overlord"
license, as evil overlords are known to respect interlectual property.

> Some example thoughts we had..
>
> 1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices
> from both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their
> own on
>
> 2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and
> then redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving
> our copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about
> box), making it look like we wrote the evil version.
>
> Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL,
> that isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

Of course. Illegal, but possible. Of course, they would be equally
illegal but possible with the "read the source but do not modify it"
licenses your friends prefer.

> Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such
> that it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:

If you own the code, you are not bound by the license. I.e. you can
do whatever you want.

> 1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of
> all libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed
> by default)

Other people who distribute binaries will have to also distribute
"Non-System" libraries that are linked with the binary.

> 2) We can't write code that depends on VC.net as it's compiler (say,
> not that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile
> it themselves without buying VC.net.

This would fall under the "special exception" in the GPL.

Tim Smith

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 4:44:16 AM6/15/04
to
On 2004-06-14, Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:
> Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL, that
> isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

They can also ignore any non-GPL license, such as what your friends want to
use. Your first two questions basically have no bearing on choice of
license.

> Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such that
> it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:

Assuming it is all your code, you can distribute it any way you want. GPL,
or whatever license you use, is what *OTHER* people have to follow, not you.

--
--Tim Smith

Chris Jefferson

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:08:16 AM6/15/04
to
Tim Smith wrote:
> On 2004-06-14, Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>>Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL, that
>>isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?
>
>
> They can also ignore any non-GPL license, such as what your friends want to
> use. Your first two questions basically have no bearing on choice of
> license.
>
No, my question is, can people do these things and remain legally within
the GPL? I now get the impression they cannot. Even if they distribute
source, they must make it clear they are distributing an altered copy of
the program even within the binary, and cannot make small changes like
removing copyright notices from the binary and redistribute

Chris Jefferson

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:10:29 AM6/15/04
to
Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:

> Chris Jefferson wrote:
>
>>First of all, let me say Hello!
>>
>>Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been
>>working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what
>>licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my
>>friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute
>>altered versions" style licence.
>>
>>The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
>>happen to GPLed code.
>
>
> If thats the case then don't use the GPL, but don't tell me not to.
>

I would never dream of telling you such a thing, I don't believe I ever
did. What I'm trying to do here is to decide if I want to use the GPL.

>
>>Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me, what
>>is the worst someone can do?
>>
>>Some example thoughts we had..
>>
>>1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices from
>>both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their own on
>
>
> There have already been a couple of cases of companies distributing
> binaries derived from GPL sources which the company claimed was their
> own code. A quick disassembly of the code showed otherwise and the
> company was publicly humiliated.
>
> Stealing and releasing source code like this is far, far, FAR more
> difficult.

I think you may have misunderstood my point. Of course people can
illegally steal source. The question is can they do this, distribute the
new source and remain GPL compliant?


>
>
>>2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and then
>>redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving our
>>copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about box),
>>making it look like we wrote the evil version.
>
>
> If it was a binary only version, then yes its possible, but again,
> a comparison with the real binary would quickly reveal the truth.
>
> You should also note that if you release a binary only product,
> a semi skilled cracker/virus writer could still modify that
> binary to do evil things even without the source code.
>

ditto, the question is can they do this and remain within the GPL if
they release source?

Chris Jefferson

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:11:21 AM6/15/04
to
David Kastrup wrote:

Good, thats one of the most important things, sorry I should have not
written forever, but 3 years. On the other hand 3 years is still a long
time :) But a more careful reading says yes, all we have to do is
distribute source and binaries in the same place and we are done. Thanks :)

David Kastrup

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:14:39 AM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

Why don't you read the GPL if you want to use it as a licence?

Excerpt of the first sections:

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
along with the Program.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices


stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.

b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
parties under the terms of this License.

c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide
a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under
these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this
License. (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but
does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on
the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:18:58 AM6/15/04
to

David Kastrup wrote:
[...]

> What about "owners of a particular copy" don't you understand?

This is getting funny.

ftp://ftp.cwru.edu/pub/bash/readline-4.3.tar.gz

I've downloaded it 10 times. I now have 10

copyN-readline-4.3.tar.gz

How many copies of GNU readline do I own without agreeing to the GPL?

regards,
alexander.

Chris Jefferson

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:30:58 AM6/15/04
to
David Kastrup wrote:

OK. I've read it. I read this as saying that someone can alter the
source code, and mention they've changed it in the source and distribute
it. However they do not have to make it clear in the normal execution of
the binary that they have made any changes. This is in my opinion
unacceptable if it's true.

David Kastrup

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 5:38:45 AM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

Note that if the software is written completely by yourself, you can
do whatever you want with it: the GPL gives the recipient no
warranties of any kind from the copyright holder. The above
redistribution stuff is only binding for you if your software is
derived from GPLed code from somebody else. However, it would be in
the spirit of a public licence if you followed the rules you set for
your users yourself and thus set a good example.

It is quite possible for the sole copyright holder of some work to
publish binary-only software under the GPL: since the recipients are
then unable to comply with the conditions for redistribution, this is
equivalent to not giving them any licence for redistribution at all.

While it is legal, it is not in the spirit of the licence and likely
to earn you bad blood.

David Kastrup

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 6:11:21 AM6/15/04
to
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> writes:

None, since no exchange of consideration took place. If you want to
consider the availability on a download server as "broadcasting"
under copyright law, then you are entitled to make one copy for
personal use, but not to sell it for financial gain.

And also we have:

From U.S. copyright law, Chapter 1, §101

The term `financial gain' includes receipt, or expectation of receipt,
of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted
works.

[...]

§ 109. Limitations on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer of
particular copy or phonorecord

[...]

(b)(1)(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), unless
authorized by the owners of copyright in the sound recording or
the owner of copyright in a computer program (including any tape,
disk, or other medium embodying such program), and in the case of
a sound recording in the musical works embodied therein, neither
the owner of a particular phonorecord nor any person in possession
of a particular copy of a computer program (including any tape,
disk, or other medium embodying such program), may, for the
purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage, dispose of,
or authorize the disposal of, the possession of that phonorecord
or computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium
embodying such program) by rental, lease, or lending, or by any
other act or practice in the nature of rental, lease, or
lending. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall apply to the
rental, lease, or lending of a phonorecord for nonprofit purposes
by a nonprofit library or nonprofit educational institution. The
transfer of possession of a lawfully made copy of a computer
program by a nonprofit educational institution to another
nonprofit educational institution or to faculty, staff, and
students does not constitute rental, lease, or lending for direct
or indirect commercial purposes under this subsection.

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 7:06:30 AM6/15/04
to
< misc.int-property added >

I say that in the scenario below I lawfully own ten copies of GNU
readline and I have never assented to the GPL. David says tha I
own "None" and that the GNU web site "broadcasts" software tarballs
(kind of Television < ha ha >). Who's correct? TIA.

regards,
alexander.

Per Abrahamsen

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 8:28:17 AM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

> Sorry for the questions, but I'm wondering exactly where the line
> between "things that come with operating system / compiler" and
> "external libraries" should be drawn.

It is far from clear. The FSF at one time claimed that Motif was such
a library, but KDE wasn't.

I'm pretty sure direct X is on the safe side, even if new versions of
direct X are also made available unbundled for older OS'es, they tend
to be bundled with any new OS release.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:05:54 AM6/15/04
to
In article <40CEBF02...@web.de>,
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> wrote:

None. The first sale doctrine refers to a piece of physical media that
has been sold to you, and which contains the copyrighted material. E.g.
a book, disk, or CD-ROM. You can then resell that physical object (but
in the case of software, you must also ensure that you've gotten rid of
any other copies you might have made, such as the installation on your
hard drive and backups).

Per Abrahamsen

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:08:48 AM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> writes:

> However they do not have to make it clear in the normal
> execution of the binary that they have made any changes. This is in my
> opinion unacceptable if it's true.

For many free software projects, such notices IN THE NORMAL EXECUTION
of the binary would be prohibitive due to the number of people making
changes. Just look at the number of names in the contributers or
change log files for e.g. Emacs or GCC.

If you really feel you need such a requirement, I don't believe you
are ready to set your software free.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:10:22 AM6/15/04
to
In article <camflb$h5$1...@pump1.york.ac.uk>,
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:

> OK. I've read it. I read this as saying that someone can alter the
> source code, and mention they've changed it in the source and distribute
> it. However they do not have to make it clear in the normal execution of
> the binary that they have made any changes. This is in my opinion
> unacceptable if it's true.

Since open-source programs often get altered by many people during their
lifetimes, I think it would be somewhat unreasonable to require it to
list its full geneology every time it's run. If Linux had to do this
every time it was booted, a reboot would take an hour :)

Stefaan A Eeckels

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:16:32 AM6/15/04
to
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 10:30:58 +0100
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:

> OK. I've read it. I read this as saying that someone can alter the
> source code, and mention they've changed it in the source and distribute
> it. However they do not have to make it clear in the normal execution of
> the binary that they have made any changes. This is in my opinion
> unacceptable if it's true.

If the program doesn't normally produce output, it would
be difficult to impose such a clause. The prefered form
of a GPLed work is the source code, not the executable,
so the announcement in the source code is sufficient.o

Take care,

--
Stefaan
--
"What is stated clearly conceives easily." -- Inspired sales droid

Stefaan A Eeckels

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:25:31 AM6/15/04
to
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 13:06:30 +0200
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> wrote:

> I say that in the scenario below I lawfully own ten copies of GNU
> readline and I have never assented to the GPL. David says tha I
> own "None" and that the GNU web site "broadcasts" software tarballs
> (kind of Television < ha ha >). Who's correct? TIA.

Both of you are correct. For the purposes of copies as
defined by the (United States) copyright statute, you
have made ten copies (why you bothered to download them
beats me). For the purposes of the (United States)
first-sale doctrine, you don't own anything, as it refers
to the physical medium that holds the copyrighted work.
If you would have bought 10 CDs from the FSF, then you'd
own ten copies you could sell or destroy at your pleasure.

Chris Jefferson

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:28:18 AM6/15/04
to

Thank you, I think that is the best and most useful reply :)

At the moment, we'd still like to think the software would be associated
with us, and therefore worry that (bad) variants might be associated
with us too.

Therefore we feel the most useful idea is to do two releases. A GPLed
version of the internal libraries (which are useful, but not functional
by themselves. For variants / understanding what we did they explain all
tho) and a closed source front end.

In the future when either a) We get more used to the idea of GPLing the
whole lot, b) We don't have enough time to spend on it or c) someone
makes useful contributions to the GPLed part which we want to make use
of, then we'll GPL the lot. Hopefully this way everyone is happy :)

Thank you for your time,

Chris

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 9:38:41 AM6/15/04
to

Barry Margolin wrote:

[... The first sale doctrine refers to a piece of physical media ...]

Says who? Even in the view of Stallmans "best friends" at
copyright.gov ...

<quote source=/reports/studies/dmca/dmca_executive.html>

There is no dispute that section 109 applies to works in digital form.
Physical copies of works in a digital format, such as CDs or DVDs, are
subject to section 109 in the same way as physical copies in analog
form. Similarly, a lawfully made tangible copy of a digitally
downloaded work, such as a work downloaded to a floppy disk, Zip™
disk, or CD-RW, is clearly subject to section 109.

</quote>

regards,
alexander.

Martin Dickopp

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 11:48:26 AM6/15/04
to
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> writes:

> ftp://ftp.cwru.edu/pub/bash/readline-4.3.tar.gz
>
> I've downloaded it 10 times. I now have 10
>
> copyN-readline-4.3.tar.gz
>
> How many copies of GNU readline do I own without agreeing to the GPL?

That depends on what you mean by "own". You may install and use all
ten copies, but you may not modify and/or distribute any copy without
agreeing to the GPL. Note that the first sale doctrine doesn't apply,
since none of the copies was sold to you.

Martin

John Hasler

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 11:16:28 AM6/15/04
to
Alexander Terekhov writes:
> I say that in the scenario below I lawfully own ten copies of GNU
> readline...

You created ten copies of the GNU readline tarball by copying them from the
FSF Web site free of charge and with the copyright owner's permission. The
first sale doctrine is about disposition of tangible copies purchased from
the copyright owner.

If you created ten copies of a CNN Web page do you think that the first
sale doctrine would give you the right to sell those copies?
--
John Hasler
jo...@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 11:55:09 AM6/15/04
to

Stefaan A Eeckels wrote:
[...]

> have made ten copies (why you bothered to download them beats me).

http://www.copyright.gov/reports/studies/dmca/sec-104-report-vol-1.pdf

regards,
alexander.

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 12:09:50 PM6/15/04
to

John Hasler wrote:
[...]

> FSF Web site free of charge and with the copyright owner's permission.

I've certainly not pirated them.

> The first sale doctrine is about disposition of tangible copies
> purchased from the copyright owner.

The disposition is tangible. A bunch of diskettes.

>
> If you created ten copies of a CNN Web page do you think that the first
> sale doctrine would give you the right to sell those copies?

No. Read the report.

regards,
alexander.

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 12:31:43 PM6/15/04
to

Martin Dickopp wrote:
[...]

> none of the copies was sold to you.

It's available for free.

regards,
alexander.

Paul Jarc

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 1:09:13 PM6/15/04
to
Chris Jefferson <c...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:
> However they do not have to make it clear in the normal execution of
> the binary that they have made any changes. This is in my opinion
> unacceptable if it's true.

If your program is interactive, then wherever your original version
emits a copyright notice, any modified versions are required to emit
their own copyright notices, according to section 2c. (I think;
IANAL.)


paul

Barry Margolin

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 1:40:28 PM6/15/04
to
In article <40CF246F...@web.de>,
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> wrote:

> Martin Dickopp wrote:
> [...]
> > none of the copies was sold to you.
>
> It's available for free.

Not if you want them to provide you a tangible copy -- then you have to
buy a tape or CD-ROM. That's what the first sale doctrine is about --
it distinguishes between the physical objects that can be handed from
person to person, and the intellectual property that might be contained
on those physical objects. For the first sale doctrine to apply, a
physical object has to move from one party (the seller) to another party
(the purchaser). Downloading data only transfers information, not
physical objects, so the first sale doctrine is irrelevant.

Barry Margolin

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 2:05:49 PM6/15/04
to
In article <m3hdtci...@multivac.cwru.edu>,
p...@po.cwru.edu (Paul Jarc) wrote:

His concern is that this copyright notice is not required to say that
the program has been modified from the original author's version. That
requirement is only on the modified files themselves, in section 2a.

Alexander Terekhov

unread,
Jun 15, 2004, 3:10:07 PM6/15/04
to
Barry Margolin wrote:
[...]

> Not if you want them to provide you a tangible copy -- then you have to
> buy a tape or CD-ROM. ...

If it's "sold" (price is irrelevant, see the determination criterions
posted earlier in this thread) online, I can download it to MY tape
or whatever tangible. Why it's so hard for you to grasp the difference
between online sales of copies and online services (as it's called in
the EU and to which first sale doesn't apply)? Read the report.

regards,
alexander.

Barry Margolin

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Jun 15, 2004, 3:31:07 PM6/15/04
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In article <40CF498F...@web.de>,
Alexander Terekhov <tere...@web.de> wrote:

I'm not familiar with the EU's rules, but in the US you're allowed to
make any copies that are necessary to use the software (e.g. installing
onto your hard drive) as well as a backup copy for safety. But you may
only keep these copies as long as you own the copy that was sold to you;
if you resell that, you must dispose of these copies (although I've
never actually heard of anyone enforcing this for backups -- it's
clearly unreasonable to require someone to destroy all the backups
they've made of their hard drive since installing the software).

All of this is permitted for your personal use of the software. But
your original message in this thread was about making a compilation and
redistributing that, and claimed that first sale doctrine permitted
this. But that compilation is a copy, not the original media that you
purchased, so the doctrine doesn't apply. And this use is not one of
the exceptions that the statute explicitly permits without permission of
the copyright owner.

Alexander Terekhov

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Jun 15, 2004, 4:04:32 PM6/15/04
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Barry Margolin wrote:
[...]

> this. But that compilation is a copy,

A copy is component of that compilation.

> not the original media that you purchased,

It doesn't need to be "original media" in the case of online
transactions.

> so the doctrine doesn't apply.

Sure it does.

regards,
alexander.

Barry Margolin

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Jun 15, 2004, 4:25:07 PM6/15/04
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