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Re: Some licensing questions regarding celestia



On Mon, 08 Sep 2003, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com> writes:
>> Sure, but we're generally not talking about sale or transfer of
>> ownership in the context of free software licenses, because the
>> license limits what you can do with your copy. That is, I often can't
>> take my copy, modify it, and resell the binary to someone else like I
>> could do with any other tangible copyrighted work.
> 
> Free software licenses cannot restrict things which are not already
> restricted by copyright.  In the case you describe, if you really got
> rid of your copy, then what you did is ok (provided it was actually
> something you could do with any other tangible copyrighted work). 

If I was sold the work, sure. But most software isn't sold, it's
leased or licensed.

If what I did was ok, then you could trivially circumvent most (if not
all) copyleft licenses, simply by purchasing a copy (downloading it
from the original offerer), modifying the copy, compiling the copy,
and selling the copy [commensurate with the destruction of your copy.]

Now, granted, this is a slow way to go about it, but you could pretty
easily setup a few systems that did this automatically.

I'd argue that in the terms of a lease, you couldn't do the above.
Whether software is sold are leased is somewhat of an open question...
and some days I wish it were sold, and other days I'm glad that it's
leased. [Hrm. My bias is creeping in there a bit...]

Anyway, I'm getting widely off topic here and into realms which I
haven't taken enough law school to talk authoritatively on. Please
feel free at any time to cite sources that will force me to reconsider
my notions.


Don Armstrong

-- 
Personally, I think my choice in the mostest-superlative-computer wars
has to be the HP-48 series of calculators.  They'll run almost
anything.  And if they can't, while I'll just plug a Linux box into
the serial port and load up the HP-48 VT-100 emulator.
 -- Jeff Dege, jdege@winternet.com

http://www.donarmstrong.com
http://www.anylevel.com
http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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