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