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Re: Is this a free license?

Thomas Bushnell, BSG <tb@becket.net>:

> > Arguing from common sense here, consider the case of someone who knows
> > C but doesn't know English. It would seem very unfair for them to be
> > punished merely for downloading the tar ball, editing the code,
> > compiling it and running it.
> If that's true, then we might as well go home, the GPL is then
> unenforceable.

What? How?

> But actually, the law says that if they have no information, then they
> should assume that they have *no* right to download the tarball.

Would you apply the same argument to the file /index.html on a public
web server?

> > 1) I download a file from an ftp site without being asked to agree to
> > anything first.
> Yes, but not without copying, and the copyright owner still has
> copyright, and you are breaking it.

I would guess that making something available by anonymous ftp or http
with no password implies permission to download. It even seems to
imply permission to store and redistribute from a caching proxy server
or a search engine. There have been debates about these last two
cases, but I've never heard of people being sued for using a web
browser. Perhaps you should go after the people who distribute web
browsers, seeing as they are encouraging people to download content
without prior permission.

Obviously it's different if the downloader knows the material is


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