[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

Henning Makholm wrote:
When I download something, the copy is being made on a hard disk that
sits in a box below my desk. Current is being modulated and passed
through a coil, which causes an area of the disk surface to be made
into a copy of the work.

But that is actually irrelevant. The relevant part is that no matter
where you consider the copy to be "made", *I* am the one who is
causing the computers (my own and the server) to make a copy at that
particular time and place.

When I knowingly cause machines to make a copy for me, I am doing the
exact thing that copyright regulates.

An interesting question, however, is if you are knowingly causing the computer(s) to copy a specific copyrighted work, considering that you don't know what you're downloading until you've already done it.

As the RIAA lawsuits have shown, many entities consider the act of downloading to be distribution of the work by the server, rather than the client.

Under this interpretation, downloading a GPLed work is no different than being given it on a CD; the owner of the server has accepted the GPL and is distributing the software under its terms, while the owner of the client computer need not accept the GPL unless he wants to. If he doesn't, he may still use the software, just not copy or modify it.

Lewis Jardine

Reply to: