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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

On Sun, 02 May 2004, Raul Miller wrote:
> > Can you point me at some jurisdiction where such copying is
> > disallowed?

On Sun, May 02, 2004 at 05:05:15PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> I have been told that the UK is one such jurisdiction, but I'm by no
> means expert (or even versed) in UK law.
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200309/msg00760.html
> talks about it a bit.

Hmm... not much to go on.

The only hint I see in the UK copyright law on how it deals with the
routine copies which are necessary to use a file on a computer appears
in Chapter VI (Presumptions).  Here, it uses the term "copies" to refer
to ownership of a computer program:


This language seems to indicate that in the UK, the owner of a computer
program has a right to some set of copies.

This is entirely supposition, unfortunately.  The details aren't spelled
out anywhere I can find, but given that "multiple copies" is an accurate
representation of what has to be the case in the use of a computer
program, I find it easy to believe.

However, I haven't been able to find anything in UK copyright law which
would cause a problem for the user who has a GFDL licensed document
named "file" where they issue the command "chmod 0 file" and the command
completes without error.

> Jurisdictions with Droit d' auter may be others which don't have a
> concept of fair use (or have a limited concept.)

I think the presence or absence of "Fair Use" is largely irrelevant in
this context.  I believe all that's needed is that the country allow
people to run legally owned computer programs.

However, if there are countries which allow copyright restrictions on use
-- where the owner of a program may control how a person uses a program
(outside of redistribution) -- then this GFDL license might be a problem.

Does anyone know of any such countries?  [If we do, they could serve as
significant examples in a variety of other contexts as well.]



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