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Re: RES: What makes software copyrightable anyway?

On 5/13/05, Adam McKenna <adam@flounder.net> wrote:
> On Fri, May 13, 2005 at 03:04:09PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > But we are more like a book publisher than Napster.  We have a license to
> > > publish certain materials, and we do so.  What the user does with the
> > > materials after they receive them legally from us is both none of our
> > > business and out of our control.
> >
> > Are you claiming that we have a license to distribute the work based
> > on the program Quagga which also contains and uses openssl?
> Are you claiming that we are distributing such a work?

Actually, I have made that claim.  I've even shown the commands 
to issue to obtain evidence that we do so.

Mind you, this is a collective work, and we will also distribute the
pieces individually.  But "we sometimes don't distribute the work"
is not equivalent to "we do not distribute the work".

Also, we ship the pieces in packages, and the user has to make
a deliberate effort to get the assembled work out of those 
packages.  But no creative work is needed -- we're distributing 
all the requisite creative content, with instructions on how
to put it together.

> > If not, what are we discussing?
> I thought we were discussing whether we can be held liable for the illegal
> actions of our users.

I believe the answer to that question depends on whether we can be
shown to have some responsibility for those actions of our users.

> > As I understand it, action at distance is not sufficient
> > to absolve us of responsibility.
> IMO, you understand it wrongly.  But we can agree to disagree.

In what way is my understanding wrong?

If I fire a gun, am I absolved of responsibiility for damage done by
that bullet?

If I hire an assassin, am I absolved of responsibility for choices
made by this hit man?

Or are there some special rules for action-at-a-distance when
dealing with copyright, and I'm missing the point by not being 
aware of them?



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