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

On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 11:46:51 +0200 Bernhard R. Link wrote:

> * Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> [040602 16:42]:
> > If you want to *download* the sofware, then you'd better do it by
> > the GPL's terms.[...]
> If you log on some computer and make a copy there and transmit it to
> you (like ssh'ing into a solaris box and copying /bin/true), this may
> be true.
> But normally someone set up a computer do make a copy and sent it to
> me, if I request it. As when someone makes copies of a CD and sends
> them to me, when I send him a postcard.

I agree.

Henning, consider how, say, the HTTP protocol works: an HTTP server
serves some content upon my *request*. I send a

  GET /path/lbreakout2_2.2.2-1woody1_i386.deb

to the web server, it processes my request (this choice of word is not a
coincidence!), determines if I have permission to get that resource and
serves a response to me.
The response may contain a

  403 forbidden

error code, or a copy of


Is that any different (from a legal point of view) from visiting one
friend of mine, seeing that she has a great game installed on her Debian
Woody machine, *asking* her "May I have a copy of the deb package?" and
going back home with a floppy disk containing

My friend is the one who is making the copy.
In the HTTP example, the copy is being made by server, that is (from a
legal standpoint) by the person who put online the file.

In the HTTP example, you can also consider the case in which the
response contains dynamically-generated content: that content may be a
derived work of something (a template, perhaps...).
Do you claim that *I* am the person who generated that content?
I don't even necessarily have access to the template!

I think that derivation is made by the server: after all, they are
called *server-side* scripting languages...

             |  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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