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

** Michael K. Edwards ::

> 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 506(a).

Michael, I normally agree with you, but you are way off-base this
time. He was referring to copies that were LAWFULLY acquired from a
LICENSED distributor.

> 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.

"Bona fide" third parties are normally exempt. If you
(inadvertently) buy stolen merchandise for 10% discount from store
price, you can be considered a "bona fide" third party. If you buy
the same merchandise for a 90% discount, then you are not.

When working in the DA's office, I encountered this same problem
over and over: should the office prosecute someone who bought for
$40, from a thief, a tv set whose store price is $50? And if he
bought it for $10? But this is a digression, and has nothing to do
with Sean's affirmation:

He affirmed that one has to agree to the GPL to possess a copy of a
GPL'd program. This was to construe the argument that a GPL
clickwrap on installation does not constitute an additional
restriction over the GPL, which IMHO is false, because (IMHO again)
the GPL (sections #0 §1 and #4) grant the right to use the program
(and henceforth to copy it during installation, and then from HD to
RAM, from RAM to on-chip-cache) unconditionally.


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