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Re: What counts as "distribution"


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: What counts as "distribution"
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 20:00:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

David Golden <address@hidden> writes:

> * You might regard the right to distribute information as a
> fundamental right of all that current (and quite disgusting) law
> abridges, and I'd agree with that, but the GPL is presumably only
> intended to exist while copyright law does**, and I meant only in the
> legalistic sense. 
>
>
> ** "Without copyright the GPL would be unenforceable. It would also
> be unnecessary."

Uh no.  The GPL guarantees that you get source code included with the
source code (at the very least, a written offer to get it at cost).
So one can't say that the GPL would be unnecessary.  In fact, with the
increasing complexity of high level languages and compilers, source
code gets increasingly more important: on my first computers, I could
reasonably easily disassemble binary-only programs (common form of
publishing in user magazins was a hex dump with per-line checksums)
into readable assembly language source code: the logic of the program
and data structure was intelligently mapped onto the instruction set
of the processor.

Whether or not the abolishment of copyright would offset the
disadvantages of the abolishment of the GPL's source code provision
enforcement could make a topic for long and utterly academic
discussions.

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum


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