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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, Humberto Massa Guimarães <humberto.massa@almg.gov.br> wrote:
[snip stuff where I agree with Humberto]
> 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.

That's true under 17 USC 117 if you are the "owner" of a copy of the
program (or, presumably, the agent-in-fact of the "owner"), which
courts have interpreted to mean that you have substantially all of the
rights described in 17 USC 109.  If you obtained access to the program
under contract terms which do not grant you the rights associated with
ownership (such as the right to transfer your copy to a third party),
then you may not be protected by 17 USC 117 from allegations of
copyright infringement when you use your copy outside the terms of
that contract.  See DSC v. Pulse, cited previously.

The GPL, like most shrink-wrap, click-wrap, and browse-wrap licenses,
doesn't restrict your rights in a way that blocks the application of
17 USC 117.  Some shrink-wrap licenses try to avoid having the user
become an "owner", precisely because they want to retain the power to
fight uses that 117 would permit; but most US courts don't seem to
have much patience with attempts to turn every retail bargain into a
contract whose terms are dictated at whim by the vendor.  Except,
again, when a hopelessly co-opted legislature forces it onto them.

> 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.

Yep -- even if it's linked against OpenSSL.

- Michael

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