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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 Thursday 14 July 2005 09:16 am, Humberto Massa Guimarães wrote:
> > 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.
> If you come upon the program on someone else's computer, and that
> someone else has consented to the GPL, then you're right on the
> money...  that person does not have to agree to the GPL to just
> simply use the software.


> 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

Lawful possession of a copy is not forbidden, either in Brasil by
our Author's Right Act (9610/98) nor by the Computer Programs Act
(9609/98), nor in the USofA by 17USC; where lawful is defined as:
"you received this copy from a licensed distributor", as opposed by
"you hacked someone's computer and extracted it from it", "you
shoplifted a CD", or "you got it from a warez site".

> permission under the law.  Period, end of story, except no
> substitutions.  I have already acknowledge the interesting legal
> argument that you do not need permission to hold a copy if you get
> it from a distributor who has permission to distribute, but I'm

This is not an "interesting legal argument": it's a legal FACT. If
you acquire *any* copyrighted work lawfully from a distributor who
has permission to distribute, this is the "first sale" that the
"first sale doctrine" is about.

> not convinced and I have asked some smarter people than myself to
> look into it (they happen to be out of the office right now...  so
> any response may take a while).  But absent that theory, there is
> nothing that grants you the right to 'apt-get install GPL PROGRAM'
> other than the GPL itself.

And the GPL grants this right right away, in its sections #0,
paragraph 1 ("Activities other than copying, distribution and
modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its
scope.  The act of running the Program is not restricted") and #4
("parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this
License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance"). You may consult your legal
counsel, but I affirm that your legal counsel will tell you the same
I did.

Moreover, caselaw down here (and, IIRC, in the USofA too) says that
the copies necessary to make a computer program run (from CD to HD,
including installation, from HD to RAM, from RAM to on-chip-cache,
etc) are NOT protected by copyrights.

I.e.: you do NOT need to abide or agree to the GPL to possess,
install, or run a GPLd program. It's there (wherever you got it) for
you to use.
> -Sean


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