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Re: [OT] Droit d'auteur vs. free software? (Was: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the FDL

> * Mark Rafn <dagon@dagon.net> [030501 21:57]:
> > 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.

On Fri, 2 May 2003, Bernhard R. Link wrote:
> 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
> a permission)
> 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
> the GPL?

I understand this point, but it's a pretty important difference.  If I 
grant permission to use my GPL software to drive a plane into a tower, it 
is not I, but the tower inhabitants, who would attempt to prevent such 
use.  And they would not use copyright law to do so, I expect.

Still, enough people far more knowledgeable than I have asserted that 
droit d'auteur does not prevent distribution of a derived work of a GPL'ed 
work, so I'll stop looking for edge cases.

I do maintain that a license which attempts to impose such restrictions 
explicitly is non-free.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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