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Re: Bug#317359: kde: ..3'rd "Help"->"About $KDE-app" tab calls th e GPL "License Agreement", ie; a contract.

** Sean Kellogg ::

> On Sunday 10 July 2005 09:53 pm, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 10, 2005 at 05:51:17PM -0700, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > > Glenn, don't you think he's talking about technologically
> > > impractical.  We all know how easy it is to circumvent click
> > > wrap licenses.  But you HAVE to agree to the GPL to download
> > > the software, click wrap or not, so its not really impractical
> > > from a freedom sense.

This is so wrong. The person OFFERING the software for download have
to agree to the GPL, not the downloader.

And anyway, it's not really easy to circumvent 12000 clickwrap
licenses, one for each Debian package.

> >
> > Technically impractical *is* non-free.  Marco believes, as far
> > as I understand (from past messages), that a license requiring
> > technically mpractical things as conditions for basic freedoms
> > is free.  A "you must send 250 redundant copies of the source
> > along with binaries, to make sure that the recipient gets at
> > least one intact" is technically impractical; a Linux
> > distribution with two discs of source would have to ship five
> > hundred.  I hope such a restriction is clearly non-free.
> Yeah, your example makes sense because it requires you to do more
> than is required under the GPL (a violation of the GPL itself).
> But agreeing to the terms of the GPL is not an additional
> requirement ontop of the GPL.  The gobbly gook in Section 5 of the

Wrong again, agreeing to the terms of the GPL if all you want is to
*use* the GPL'd software is an additional restriction, since the GPL
*explicitly* grants such usage permission.

> GPL is, I would suggest, mostly unenforceable...  part of the "you
> can't say something is X when its actually Y and expext it to be
> treated as X" doctrine.  Its just like "work for hire" stuff, you
> can't declare it's a work for hire when its not.  
> In response to an earlier suggestion, whether the GPL covers
> actions beyond modification and distribution...  my copy of the
> GPL says, in section 1, that I have the right to make copies of
> code "as I receive it."  Now that is certainly interesting
> language.  If I am given a copy of the software on CD by someone
> who agrees to the GPL, then it would seem I'm fine to keep the CD
> and do whatever even if I vigorously reject the GPL.  Fair
> enough...  but when I run 'apt-get', am I the one doing the
> copying or is the distributor doing the copying?  I could really
> see it going either way....  but certainly if I come upon
> someone's computer, burn code to a CD on my own, I am engaged in
> copying.  And, like I said before, the only thing that gives you
> the right to copy is the GPL, which means you have to agree to it.

This is not ambiguous as you construct. The GPL section 1 says:

" 1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, *** in any medium ***, provided that
you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an
appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact
all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any
warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of
this License along with the Program. "

It's talking about source code, and that you can freely copy it
verbatim and distribute such copies.

> So why does an author's decision to display those terms when you
> first install or to call it a "License Agreement" (desperate
> attempt to return to subject) violate the GPL or the DFSG?

Because it takes away the rights the GPL already gave to the
recipient: the right to use the software, without having to agree to
nothing at all.


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