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Re: the FSF's definition of Free Software and its value for Debian

On Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 09:55:14PM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
> > Oops, I confused myself.  This phrase "all third parties that receive
> > copies indirectly through the recipient" is still there.
> Could you state again what problem you have with that phrasing? It
> seems to me that it includes everyone it needs to include.

Please see:

  Message-ID: <20030312044255.GV4050@deadbeast.net>

(Sorry, I couldn't turn this up at lists.debian.org -- I really wish
MHonArc archived Message-IDs and permitted one to specify such as search

> Surely, if I encode the Document, and it turns up in my encoding at
> your computer a year later, it must be either because I gave you a
> copy (in which case you get the rights) or because you got your copy
> indirectly through someone who I gave a copy (in which case you still
> get the rights).

No, you could have broken into my computer and taken it.  But I don't
think the GNU GPL needs to worry about "authorized recipients" versus
"unauthorized recipients".  There are plenty of legal avenues of redress
for people whose computers are intruded upon; I do not think that the
GNU GPL needs to provide yet another.  Especially since many corporate
licensors would predicate revocation of the license due to "unauthorized
receipt of the work" on their bare assertion that the work was received
in an authorized fashion, rather than basing it on a finding of fact by
a court, where (at least nominally) one has to go to all trouble of
having to meet standards of evidence and burdens of proof.

Also see "chilling effects".

G. Branden Robinson                |      "There is no gravity in space."
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      "Then how could astronauts walk
branden@debian.org                 |       around on the Moon?"
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      "Because they wore heavy boots."

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