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Re: How to reratify the DFSG ?

On Sun, May 31, 1998 at 08:50:07PM +0100, Charles Briscoe-Smith wrote:
> I'm sorry to have to speak up on this; I just don't want to see such
> misapprehensions spread too freely.

I think you put the things I meant in better words and made my points more
clear, thank you!
> Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> > The copyright owner is in fact allowed to break the copyright, because there is
> > no one who can sue him.


> Whoever owns the copyright in a work (usually the work's author) is
> effectively given, by the government, a monopoly on copying the work.
> The important part of this is that the copyright owner can ALWAYS copy,
> because he owns the copyright (the right to copy).  No-one ELSE may copy
> without being licenced to do so by the copyright owner.  The copyright
> owner needs no licence, because the copyright gives him the right to copy.
> In light of the above, you should be able to see that it is, by
> definition, not possible for the copyright owner to infringe his own
> copyright.  It's not a question of there being "no one who can sue him",
> or of being "allowed to break the copyright".

Okay, but the effect is still the same, isn't it? If I understand you
correctly, if a author copies his work against the general copyright he
assigned to it, it is not even a copyright infringement, so nobody can sue
him because there is no case.
> >I only have problems with the licence of qt-"free" enforcing the GPL on
> >programs that use it, and I think that KDE people could *probably* sue other
> >people distributing Qt linked KDE. Although I doubt that the latter would
> >stand the court.
> This is right, as I understand it.  The KDE situation is that the QT
> licence (IIRC) allows you to distribute a program which uses QT if that
> program is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL.  The GPL says that
> others may only distribute that (QT-based) program if all its components
> are included (except system components), and all are licenced under the
> terms of the GPL.  Unless QT is a system component, these are in conflict.
> In theory, therefore, only the author of a GPLed, QT-based program would
> be allowed to distribute it.

I think this is a very exact analysis of the situation.

> The argument runs that, if you distribute your own GPLed, QT-based
> program, you are implicitly making an exception to the GPL to allow your
> program to be linked with QT.  Thus, QT-based programs, ostensibly GPLed,
> are actually only "nearly-GPLed".  This means that bits of "really-GPLed"
> programs cannot be incorporated into QT-based "nearly-GPLed" programs
> by anyone other than their author, because the author is the only one
> who can introduce the necessary exception to the licence to allow that.

Yes, I think this is the only reason why we (or anyone else) can distribute
KDE at all. However, I hope that every author does know about this and is
brave enough to enforce his copyright if he does not want a KDE version.

Does KDE know about it? I often see KDE version of programs that are not
originally from KDE, and I wonder if they ask for permission everytime...

Thank you for your clear words,

"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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