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Re: definition of "use"

James William Pye wrote:

Greetings(Please be sure to CC me!),

First, my apologies for not joining the conversation around the time
that it transpired, but it was not until recently that I had noticed it.

Second, my apologies to Mr. Welch for suffering from the controversy
created by the license that I wrote.

That's right, it's me, "random Joe off the street" as Mr. Palmer put it.
And, yes, IANAL(Of course IANAL. Lawyers would not consider brevity to
be a value in an instrument, and for good reason, I know(Despite the
lack of any indication of such knowledge). ;).

Before I get into any details, this discussion is about the definition
of the word 'use' in the context of copyright law (U.S.C. Title 17[1]),
and perhaps whatever extra insights the connotations of the fair license
might provide within its single, compound sentence.

This license hangs on the idea that the definition of the word 'use' in
the context of copyright law is as follows:

      6: (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits
         of owning property; "we were given the use of his boat"
         [syn: {enjoyment}]
      (From WordNet 2.0)
(dict.org, dict use, also google'ing will reveal it in other areasof the
This definition does not match the definition of "usar" (=to use) in Brazilian Law, which is based on possession, not ownership.

<lots of stuff here>

While the length of my response might not indicate it, I am not married
to this license. I wrote it in an attempt to create a *very* concise
authorization of I.P. use. BSD and MIT licenses satisfy my needs, save
brevity and generality. For instance, BSD and MIT refer to 'source
code', 'software', and 'documentation', which I would gather refer to
"computer programs", but how do images and other kinds of works fall
into those terms(I guess SVG might fall into source code ;)? What if I
wanted to "open source" other kinds of works? I thought it would be more
fitting to have a license that actually uses the terminology of the laws
that specify the restrictions of the granted exclusive rights. It really
is a shame that 'use' is not defined in Title 17.

The only useful conclusion that I have been able to directly draw from
these discussions is that it is not *self evident* that 'use'
constitutes the exercising/enjoyment of the bundle of rights given to
the owner of copyrighted works by U.S.C. Title 17 Chapter 1[2].

So, what is the definition of the word 'use'? Does it *only* mean to
execute a program? Or to *only* read a book? Or to *only* listen to that
In Brazilian "computer programs" law, what we *do* have is that using a program is defined by its "use license contract" terms, meaning the execution of the program under those terms -- limited by our "fair use clauses" (art. 6º Computer Programs Law [L.9609/98]: one backup copy; citation with source in context of education; similarity by functionality; integration on/to other systems) and by our (very heavy) consumer-protection law.

In the case of non-computer-programs-stuff, what we do have is a statute limitation clause (art. 46 Author's Rights Act [L.9610/98]: lots of stuff, among them musical execution in your home or in schools).

So, yes, one can suppose safely that the word "use" in the case of a computer program license means executing such program; in the case of a music, means listening to it in a private/familiar environment or in a school; and in the case of a computer library, the execution of its API by other programs.

Anyways, I'm getting too tired to think; perhaps when I hear back, I
will have more positions and points. That is, if you or someone else
doesn't provide something fatal.


IANAL, TINLA, this is just MHO.

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