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Re: Implied vs. explicit copyright



On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 07:55:09PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 06:11:08PM +0200, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> > 
> > I believe that SHALL and MUST are equivalent in meaning in English.
> > But technically you're right, it doesn't say "must".
> 
> They are generally interpreted as having different implications;
> "must" is a far stronger term.

Be careful with this, in the context of reading law. Much like with RFCs,
certain words tend to have certain very specific meanings that may, or may
not, actually map to "common" English.

My spotty memory, which is only as good as studying actual texts of bills
that had, at some point, go through the US legislative system, wants to say
that in this *particular* case, "SHALL" in a law is fairly close to "MUST"
in an RFC. However, please take this with even more of a grain of salt than
the typical IANAL statements; perhaps one of the folks on-list who have
more (and more recent) experience in reading US law will render an opinion.

Even if I'm right, "fairly close" does not necessarily mean "identical",
and, frankly, I think the whole thing is getting a bit silly. Having (c) in
there might, or might not, be considered "circle in a C" if you have only
ASCII to work with, by some court. Lots of arguments would be given, and
(in most US courts) someone would buy whichever verdict helped them most.

Certainly using it *in addition to* Copyright is unlikely to be problematic
(one could always argue it was part of the rest of the text, which is
allowed to have "I like Baboons" or other such in it, if you really must),
and certainly I wouldn't want to trust that *only* (c) would be sufficient.
-- 
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>

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