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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

On Sat, May 08, 2004 at 09:38:58PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> Copyrights restrict the right to make copies, period.  Not just the right to
> distribute them.  Legally, they always have, at least in the US.  (They
> just aren't enforced terribly often against people who don't distribute,
> because it's not usually worth the money; they are enforced sometimes.)

The issue, here is "what's a copy"?

In the case of a computer program, if you're not creating physically
distinct copies (for example, putting copies onto different cdroms),
is that a copy, in the legal sense?

Fundamentally, the technical terminology of copyright law is not the
same as the technical terminology of computer programmers.

Most computer operations are "copying" in some for or another.  But,
as a general rule, you don't need copyright permission for the computer
to perform those operations - if you have a legal copy of some software
this "internal copying" is treated in the fashion of "performance"
of a copyrighted work.

Maybe you have some precedent or court ruling to the contrary?


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