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Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 13:37:27 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Rjack <address@hidden> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> In gnu.misc.discuss Thufir Hawat <address@hidden> wrote:

>>> It[the GPL]'s just as much a contract as any other EULA.

>> The GPL isn't a EULA, except perhaps the tiny part of it that says
>>  "you may run this program unconditionally".  The concept of "end 
>> user" is absent in free software licensing, and the GPL goes to 
>> considerable lengths to ensure that nobody is relegated to the 
>> status of an "end user", except by choice.

>> The GPL is a license for distributing and changing software, not 
>> for using it.

> Your remark concerning "use" is interesting. There is a subtle
> distinction between "use" in the context of patents and that of
> copyrights. The patent grant states:

[ .... ]

> In copyright matters there is no broad right to "use" a work.
> In copyright "scope of use" must *directly* limit one of the
> the *specific* enumerated rights in listed in 17 U.S.C. 106:

> (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
> (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
> (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to
> the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental,
> lease, or lending;
> (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic
> works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to
> perform the copyrighted work publicly;
> (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic
> works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works,
> including the individual images of a motion picture or other
> audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
> (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work
> publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

> So unlike patent cases, in most (not all) copyright suits alleging
> "use" violation it is a matter of breach of contract and not
> copyright infringement.

That's a non-sequitur.  There's no logical implication of your last
paragraph by your second last.  Anyhow, my point was more about the
"end" in "end user".  As soon as somebody is an "end user", the GPL
imposes no restrictions or conditions of any kind on her.  It is only
when her use is other than an "end use" that the GPL becomes important.


> Sincerely,
> Rjack :)

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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