gnu-misc-discuss
[Top][All Lists]
Advanced

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GPL and other licences


From: Graham Murray
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 17:51:41 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <address@hidden> writes:

> You got it wrong. By giving you his property (the lawful copy of the
> software) for the purposes of your job, you have not lawfully acquired
> (become owner) of a copy, and hence you have no rights. The fact that
> you have access to the copy (you hold the CD your employer handed you
> for the purposes of installing it on one of their computers, which you
> are allowed to use but do not own) does not mean that you are the owner
> of that copy, and it is the ownership of that copy (on whatever medium)
> that gives you certain rights. Now ownership, no rights. 

Why do you have to be the 'owner' of the copy? Consider, for a moment,
a different scenario. You borrow from a library a book containing a
work which has passed into the public domain. Although you have not
become the 'owner' of the work, you are legally entitled (under
copyright law) to transcribe the work and create a copy. You then
become the 'owner' of the copy you created. 

Why is a GPL'd program any different? The copyright owner has, under
the terms of the GPL, given permission for copies to be made as long
as certain conditions are met. These conditions do not mention being
the legal owner of work which is copied, just that source code must be
made available (by one of the 3 mechanisms stated), that the copy and
any derivative works must be subject to the same licence, and that no
extra conditions be added. The preamble of GPL2 states "to make sure
the software is free for all its USERS" (my emphasis). Is this not
saying that it is the user of the software, not just the 'owner' of
the copy, that has the rights outlined in the GPL?  So surely, all
that is required is legal access to a copy not legal ownership of the
copy.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]