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

On 7/14/05, Adam McKenna <adam@flounder.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 14, 2005 at 09:38:25AM -0700, Sean Kellogg wrote:
> > But I'm not talking about USE, I'm talking about the possession of a copy of
> > the code.  You are not permitted to have a copy of the code without
> > permission under the law.  Period, end of story, except no substitutions.
> Please cite the part of copyright law that says this.

Sean's a little bit right here (is that like a little bit pregnant?),
in that copies made without authorization are in principle subject to
seizure and forfeiture no matter who is presently holding them.  AIUI
(IANAL), that's true of stolen and converted property generally and
specifically, under 17 USC 509, of copies whose unauthorized creation
and distribution rises to the level of criminal infringement under

But that doesn't necessarily mean that possession of such a copy is
itself a criminal act.  Lots of people come back from trips abroad
with counterfeit goods (infringing copyrights and/or trademarks)
bought at a street fair or something, and while I don't think I would
knowingly buy such a thing myself, I also wouldn't call the cops if a
friend gave me one as a gift (and wasn't as far as I know, engaging in
a commercial-scale fraud scheme, etc.).  In fact, I was once sold a
counterfeit copy of a Microsoft product, and it's not clear to me
whether the person who sold it to me knew that it was counterfeit; my
compromise (so far) has been not to narc but not to buy anything there
ever again.

As far as I know, still having in my possession a gift Ricky Martin
(ugh) CD of dubious provenance, or the evidence that I got swindled by
an M$ counterfeiter, doesn't put me on the wrong side of the law; but
I wouldn't hesitate to fork them over for destruction if an officer of
the law showed me evidence that the copier or distributor was
convicted under 17 USC 506.  I don't see why the same shouldn't apply
to electronic "goods"; though the politics there, and the reported
scale of counterfeiting, have made for rather deep waters.

- Michael

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