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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

> > The only basis I can see for saying that this doesn't require modified
> > copies be licensed appropriately involves a definition of "and" which
> > is peculiar to digital logic (as opposed to law or common english).

On Sat, May 15, 2004 at 11:16:58AM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> Wha?  An appropriate copyright notice is along the lines of "Copyright
> (c) 1984-2004 Richard Stallman," as might plausibly appear on much GNU
> software.  It imposes no licensing restrictions.
> Where do you see a licensing restriction from that?

If there is no distribution or publishing going on -- if you are writing
the additional code which is being incorporated into the program --
there is no problem.  You have full rights to everything you write and
you're giving everyone who has a copy (yourself) all the rights the GPL
demands (for example, you have the right to give all others GPLed rights
to this work).

Where there is distribution going on -- which is a fairly typical case --
then there is a problem.  You have to keep the copyright notices intact,
and if those copyright notices don't include a right to the work as a
whole then you have something which doesn't satisfy the terms of the GPL.

Typically, this latter case exists because someone has arranged for
unlicensed copies to be distributed and/or published.

Anyways, the making of copies must be done under the terms of the relevant
copyright license (with exceptions provided by law).  If there is no
license, then there is no right to make copies.

> Do you think that "and copy and distribute such modifications" mean
> that you *must* distribute *every* copy you make?  That's insane.  It
> also doesn't conform to standard English usage.  If I tell you to sit
> down  and have some tea AND cookies, I don't mean that if you have tea
> you MUST have a cookie, merely that I'm offering both.  If I tell you
> that you may copy and distribute this work, then you may copy it and
> you may distribute it.

No one is forcing anyone to combine GPLed works with incompatible works
(such as openssl).

That said, for the "download and build but without compatible
license terms" instances there is some question as to who is doing
the distribution.  Is it the person who prepared the download archives
that made this happen?   Or is it the person who entered the commands
to start the download that made this happen?  Or someone else?  I'm not
trying to say who it is that is doing the publishing or distribution,
and think that the answer is different in different cases.

Then again, for truely unique cases (you're not copying someone else's
work and no one else is copying your work) then (at least in the
U.S.) privacy laws probably take precedence and no one should care.
And there's also u.s. law granting people the right to make copies in
the course of normal use.

But that's not the typical case.



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