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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

Raul Miller wrote:

> 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?
Well, making a copy in RAM is making a copy, legally; this is apparently the
caselaw in the US.  I'm sorry that I don't have the reference.

There is a specific legislated exemption in copyright law for the copies
made in the course of normal use (or some such), I believe, though I don't
have it on hand.

Perhaps I could convince someone else to dig up the references?  :-D

> 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 -
Except that's apparently not the law in the US.  Apparently you *do*, except
that a specific and narrow exemption is granted.

> 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?

Basically, yes, but I don't have the reference to hand right now.  Sorry I'm
so disorganized.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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