Re: [OT] Droit d'auteur vs. free software? (Was: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the FDL
* Mark Rafn <firstname.lastname@example.org> [030501 21:57]:
> On Thu, 1 May 2003, Bernhard R. Link wrote:
> > I cannot see the problem here. Even if the quoted "sub 2" can be
> > applied, it may only disallow you making something available to
> > the public (i.e. some forms of distributing it).
> It says "changed _OR_ made available to the public". This restricts
> private modifications as well. But even without that, the restriction on
> "made available to the public ... in a context that violates the author's
> literary or artistic reputation or character" is enough to prevent any
> distribution under the GPL.
First of all, it speaks of "changed or made available to the public
in a way, that ...", which clearly indicates, that changing is just
meant as special form of discrediting the author. (Also consider the
wording is the wording of a translation, so please read by meaning and
not by letter).
> > The quoted "point 7" would only apply, if one wasn't allowed to
> > distribute copies with source and allowing the receiver everything
> > allowed by GPL. (As this are the mentioned obligations mentioned in
> > the GPL).
> Under droit d'auteur, you're not allowed to grant unqualified permission
> to the reciever of a work to make modifications or to distribute the work.
> You cannot fulfil the GPL requirements, so you cannot distribute the work.
If author's rights would be introduced in the USA, this might be the
case. I do not know about denmark, but here in Germany I am allowed to
give any permissions I want. (People might not be able to do so, as
law or other people forbid them to exercise it, but this does not
limit me, as long as I do not formulate a incitement in the form of
Just ask yourself: Are you allowed to grant a permission to someone
to use a piece of GPL'd software to drive a plane in an arbitrary
tower? If not, are you still allowed to distribute software under
> > > /me wonders if there are more countries besides his own that need to be
> > > no longer considered part of the free world. :-D
> > Even extreme legislations for author's rights does not reduce the ability
> > to create free software (though those rights might only performed in
> > other countries), as long as law does not demand, that people have to
> > encode laws in contracts they make.
> This I heartily agree with. A work created in a droit d'auteur location
> and released under the GPL is freely distributable and modifiable in a
> common-law jurisdiction. It may be undistributable at all in it's home
> country, though.
As stated before, such laws only limit ways of distribution, not
distribution at all. I guess here in Germany, law will allow you to
stop me, if I take any of your code and produce some movie where
an actor dressed as Hitler sits before a computer and types in your
code, if it is easily enough seen as attack on you.
Distributions not forbidden directly by law are not affected by this.
This is like those warrenty disclaimers or disassembling prohibitions
in many EULAs or licenses, that AFAIK just disappear in a puff of logic
when they pass the German border.
Bernhard R. Link
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