Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.
On Tue, Apr 12, 2005 at 09:44:29AM -0700, David Schwartz wrote:
> I would say that if not for the EULA, you could transfer ownership
> of the image to someone else. And if you legally acquired two copies of
> Windows, you could install both of them and transfer them. Otherwise,
> you could not sell a machine with the Windows OS installed unless you
> were a Microsoft OEM. Does Microsoft take the position that if you want
> to sell your PC, you must wipe the OS? Not that I know of.
 I think you've confused Microsoft's Original Equipment Manufacturer
License with Microsoft's End User License Agreement.
 The grounds for Microsoft's EULA are much weaker than the grounds
for the GPL restrctions on the production of derivative works.
At least with the GPL, you're getting something you didn't already have
(rights restricted to the copyright holder -- for example, in the states,
under 17 USC 106).
With Microsoft's EULA, it's not clear that you're getting anything
in exchange for complying with the copyright -- at least not in the
U.S. which is where Microsoft is based. You already have a number of
rights (17 USC 107, 17 USC 117), and while the DMCA has put into law
that you can't bypass copyright protection (17 USC 1201), it seems to
allow bypassing technological defects which would prevent actions allowed
It's probably worth noting that legal actions based on Microsoft's
EULA are settled out of court -- Microsoft has a history putting a
lot of direct and indirect pressure on people charged with violating
the agreement and, in the rare case where someone has stood up to the
pressure, of cutting their losses and settling out of court.