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Re: FilterProxy and DFSG

On Tue, Mar 13, 2001 at 06:59:28AM -0600, Sam TH wrote:

> On the relevant new laws: the DMCA has no bearing on this sort of
> thing at all.  It isn't really even a copyright law, despite being in
> section 17.  But if you want to hear people rant about that, there are
> plenty of other places.  With regard to UCITA, what that will do is
> make the contracts I described above legally binding, and make it
> possible for them to include all kinds of nasty provisions, many of
> which are blatantly unconstitutional (cf. database benchmarks).  But
> it wont make the FilterProxy license any more valid, since it still
> wouldn't be a contract.  

The FilterProxy license says "By using this software, you agree to
the terms of this license, and the terms of the GPL".  As I understand
it, that's exactly the kind of after-the-fact license that UCITA
makes possible.  But in any case I'm not worried about FilterProxy
-- the question is if a license can be made that does this.

(Let's adopt a more evil example for this discussion.  I'm a big
chip designer, and I develop a groovy new line of CPUs.  Then I
adapt gcc to produce excellent code for it, and let people have
copies, but include an EULA that says they have to pay $400 for
the right to use this compiler on programs larger than 50000

I'm also not only worried about UCITA.  There are parts of
copyright law that do cover use.  For example, isn't using
FilterProxy in an ISP a "public performance" of the software?
It seems to me that any hook to add a usage license would
be okay with section 6 of the GPL.

Hmm, on the other hand, section 2b might forbid this.

    b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

I think that "licensed as a whole at no charge" includes license
to use, because it doesn't say it doesn't, but I don't know what
the legal interpretation would be.

Richard Braakman

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