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Re: GPL and other licences


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 11:11:00 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Bernd Jendrissek" <address@hidden> writes:

> In article <address@hidden>
> "Alfred M\. Szmidt" <address@hidden> wrote:
>>The employer cannot say that I am not allowed to do so, since that
>>would violate the license.
>
> The employer may not legally redistribute *and* then also require the
> recipients to do foo and bar and not to do x and y.
>
> But: it doesn't seem entirely clear that an employer giving an
> employee a CD with which to do some work is, in fact,
> redistributing.  I the work is to be done on machines owned by the
> employer, I suppose that is definitely *not* redistribution.  OTOH
> if the work is to be done on the employee's own machine, I wonder if
> that might require a pro forma redistribution (into RAM) of an
> incidental copy, in which case the employee *would* be
> redistributing (to hirself) *as an agent* of hir employer.

Probably depends on whether the computer is company property.

> Once sie has that copy, sie can do as sie pleases since the employer
> has no right to impose further restrictions.  Or maybe not (IANAL).

No, this is not the case.  Even if the employer (or even a
distributor) clearly says "install this on your computer, but never
distribute this", you are bound by your agreement to the employer,
even though the employer might be in violation of the license.  But if
he is so, you are not in a legal position to complain: only the
copyright holder can do that.

There is no automatic "everything becomes public" mechanism associated
with the GPL.  The recipients of illegitimately restricted copies of
GPLed software have no legal standing to demand being able to make use
of the GPL in its full extent.  Only the copyright holder can do that,
and even then the remedy for the offender is to _either_ heed the GPL
_or_ stop distribution.

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum


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