Re: Questions about legal theory behind (L)GPL
> > Same difference, legally.
> > [...] "a mere waiver of the right to sue" [...]
On Sun, Jan 16, 2005 at 11:51:19AM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
> So you are saying that, when I copy and distribute a GPL'd program, I am
> violating the law and staying unpunished.
No, you're not violating the law. You have a waiver that shows that
you're not. But some of the things you are doing within the permissions
indicated on that waiver might have been legal anyways.
I think his point was more on the other side of the fence -- that there
are cases which are legal even without an explicit license, and that
having a copyright license is a way of proving that you're legal.
For example, when someone sends an email message they're implicitly
granting permission for the relaying systems to distribute copies of
that message. This is particularly significant when a message is sent
to a mailing list.
For example, when someone puts something up on a web site, they're
implicitly granting permission for browser users to generate local copies
when they visit the site.
For example, while there might be explicit published permissions for game
modders to work with Duke Nukem, there are a variety of other games out
there where modders are working with tacit permission from the copyright
holders rather than explicit permission.
For example, Dan Berstein seems to delight in providing statements on
his web site which do not have the appearance or character of a copyright
license, granting various forms of permission to copy his work.
For example, producers of VCRs, and other analogous technologies
(products like tivo, and producers of recording media -- dvdrw, hard
disks, photocopier paper, etc.) to some degree depend on a legal climate
where copying is allowed. Especially in the context of the DMCA.
Anyways, the copyright holder can choose to not press charges against
some people who copy without a license, without weakening the strength
of their copyright.