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You can't get a copy unless you accept the GPL [was: Re: libkrb53 - odd license term]

On Tue, 1 Jun 2004 20:35:09 +1000 Matthew Palmer wrote:

> I guess, though, in a way
> it's another wording of the GPL's "you can't legally get a copy except
> by the permissions we've granted here, so we'll take it as read you
> accept this licence" clause.

Wait, wait!
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here (maybe it's my
english-language-parser's fault... :p )

Do you mean I have to accept the GPL in order to *get* a copy of a GPL'd

I suppose you're referring to the following GPL-2 clause:

]   5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
] signed it.  However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or
] distribute the Program or its derivative works.  These actions are
] prohibited by law if you do not accept this License.  Therefore, by
] modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the
] Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and
] all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying
] the Program or works based on it.

I have always interpreted it as covering actions such as distributing,
modifying... but not getting copies!
Am I wrong?

That is: I'm not required to accept the GPL if I simply want to download
(and install and use) a GPL'd piece of software.
The person who distributes the work to me must have accepted the GPL,
but I'm not required to.

License acceptance is instead necessary when *I* want to modify or
distribute the work (or a modified version of the work).

Is that right?

             |  GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4 | You're compiling a program
  Francesco  |        Key fingerprint = | and, all of a sudden, boom!
     Poli    | C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12 |         -- from APT HOWTO,
             | 31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4 |             version 1.8.0

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