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Re: webmin license

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho <gaia@iki.fi> writes:

> you said there that the Danish
> law required one to have the right to  run the program, but the Finnish
> one requires you to be in possession of a legal copy.

This is getting interesting. When the clause was first added to Danish
law in 1992 it said "He/she who has lawfully acquired a computer
program ...". The commentary to that law said that a lawful acquirer
is either someone who has bought (etc.) a copy of the program or
someone who by contract has the right to use the program.

(That change was made to implement EU directive 91/250/EEC, Articles
5 and 6 - so it is not surprising that Danish and Finnish law is

When the law was rewritten and reorganised in 1995 the language was
changed to "He/she who has the right to use a computer program ...".
The commentary to the proposal described that change as "editorial".

Based on that, one can probably argue in a Danish court that the
legislators want me to have the right to use a program if I have
bought (etc.) a lawful copy of it. Which means that use conditions
in copyright licenses are probably not binding for Danish users who
do not redistribute the program.

By the way, the Danish software industry fiercely fought the part of
the 1992 change that gave users the right to fix bugs. They declared
(according to report of the the parliament committee that considered
the law) that "the rule .. that a buyer of a computer programs has
the right to correct errors is a very grave and harmful rule which
ought to be removed from the law" (!!).

IANAL, and the translations from Danish are all mine.

Henning Makholm                  "I Gudfaders navn og sønnens og den hellige
                     ånds! Bevar os for djævelens værk og for Muhammeds, den
               forbandedes, underfundigheder! Med dig står det værre til end
           med nogen anden, thi at lytte til Muhammed er det værste af alt."

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