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Re: is this free?

On Tue, Nov 23, 1999 at 05:06:26PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > It's a lot easier to put some stuff up on a website once you've made some
> > changes than it is to `regularly monitor the webiste for any notices'. The
> > former requires you to give the code to a friend to stick up somewhere,
> > the latter requires you to have regular internet access, and to keep
> > track of a website whose URL may change.

On Tue, Nov 23, 1999 at 12:51:50PM +0100, Patrik Nordebo wrote:
> Technically, you would be regularly monitoring the web site if you
> looked at it, say, once every millenium (or whatever). Isn't this kind
> of like the "reasonable copying fee" in the Artistic license (except
> that there it is defined to mean that, which is probably the only
> reason it doesn't fail the DFSG)? Of course the legal
> interpretation might be different. IANAL.

No.  This is a requirement on the user which kicks in not when they
acquire the copy but when they use the copy.

I'm under the impression that this requirement wouldn't currently hold
in the U.S. but it's written into the contract so you'd have to go to
court to prove that.  [U.S. copyright law says that, once you've legally
acquired a copy, fair use allows you to use that copy, including loading
it onto your system and making a backup copy.  However, can you be said
to have legally acquired a copy of this program if you've never visited
the website?]

> Actually, wouldn't even "never monitoring" be "regularly monitoring"?
> You are monitoring according to a rule, which seems to me that it fits
> the dictionary definitions in 1913 Webster's, WordNet and the 1982
> Concise Oxford Dictionary. I doubt this is what AT&T intended, but
> that is what regular means. Of course this will discriminate against
> "those who monitor the website irregularly", so it might still fail
> the DFSG.

This is a legal question, which means it's up to a judge to decide.

How much money are you prepared to spend to determine the answer to
this question?

> To take the argument about what "regular" means even further, can't
> you argue that _anything_ can fit? I monitor it when I feel like
> looking at it. I monitor it when I need to know something. Etc. It
> might be hard to convince a court that this is a reasonable
> interpretation of regular, though. :-(

Exactly.  You're essentially saying that the clause shouldn't hold up
in court, but that courts may not agree.


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