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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 11:56 am, Humberto Massa Guimarães wrote:
> > He affirmed that one has to agree to the GPL to possess a copy
> > of a GPL'd program. 
> WHAT?!  No, never.  Possession is not the issue, the issue is
> copying.  And I am not convinced that making an FTP connection and
> downloading the material from a licensed distributor does not
> constitute copying, thus requiring permission.  It is an
> interesting legal argument...  could be true, but it could also
> NOT be true.  I'm really not sure.  Can you CITE something?

I withdraw, about the possession, altough you *have* mentioned
possesion in: " 

> 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

" (your words)

But, about the FTP, the *distributor* is making the copy, you are
not copying anything, you are getting your copy that the distributor
already made. That happens, not only legally speaking, but in
reality. The only thing you made was to *request* a copy and to
*receive* a copy: what 17USC and 9609-9610/98 and the Berne
convention assign as the copyright owner's monopolies is to *copy*,
*modify* and *distribute* copies (modified or otherwise).

> Here's the way I'm thinking about it.  Apple has a license
> agreement with Sony to distribute music.  Apple can make as many
> copies as it wants under the agreement and distribute it to
> whomever and charge whatever it wants (including give it away for
> free).  An Apple technician puts a copy of TMBG's "Man, It's Loud
> in Here" on a server, but fails to place the appropriate password
> protection on the server.  I come along, discover this song is
> available for one and all, and download a copy.  I agree to
> nothing in the process.  Apple later discovers its mistake,
> removes the song, and threatens to sue me.  What claims can it
> make?

ABSOLUTELY NONE, unless *you* are re-distributing said song. You got
it legally (I am assuming that in said site there was a link to a
song and a "click here to download", and NOT a "to get this song you
have to pay $10 and get your password, etc...)

> The obvious answer is conversion...  but is there a copyright
> violation here?  Strikes me that I have made an unauthorized copy,
> denied someone their ability to profit from their works.  I smell
> statutory damages.

No, no, and no. Because of the very way the Web functions, if I
publish something on it, and I don't reserve any rights
conspicuously and I don't put any technological measures to prevent
someone's access (robots.txt included) then I am, for all purposes,
distributing to those someone. /in/ /casu/, Apple was distributing
for you, legally, lawfully, and you only requested and got your

> Someone a while back mentioned first sale...  which is an
> interesting place to go.  Is the idea that every apt-get I do is
> actually a series of first sale transactions where the
> consideration is nothing?  That would probably work, other than
> the fact that it leaves Debian in the unique position to revoke
> all of the first sale agreements because its not binding without
> some form of consideration.
> ----------
> But I'd really like to return to the question that got us all
> started.  Is calling the GPL a "License Agreement" a bug?

Yes. The GPL must only be agreed to if you want to copy, modify or
distribute (modified or otherwise) the GPL'd work.

> Apparently my "you have to agree to the GPL anyway" theory has
> gotten people all worked up...  so, obviously that's not going to

I'm not "worked up", but I *do* disagree firmly with your theory.

> convince anyone on this list.  So can someone explain to me why
> its NOT a license agreement?  Do you not in fact have to agree to
> the GPL if you intend to use the rights under the GPL?

I posted a document once to d-l, in what we call "schema" format
down here in Brasil, explaining what are your rights under the GPL.
If you want, I can send it to you, but people in d-l thought it was
very difficult to understand.

In short:

If you have the lawful possession (*) of a GPL'd work, you can:

1. (unconditionally) use it, play it, run it, and even perform it to
the world via web or television.

2. (subject to the conditions under section 1, and to the agreement
to the terms of the license as a whole) re-distribute its source
code verbatim, in whole or in parts, alone or in an anthology,
extending to the receiver the license you received (the GPL).

3. (subject to the conditions under sections 1 and 2, and to the
agreement to the terms of the license) modify its source code, and
re-distribute the modified source code, in whole or in parts, alone
or in an anthology; the work generated by your modifications, being
a derivative work of the original, must be licensed to those you
distribute it under the terms of the GPL.

4. (subject to the conditions under sections 1, 2, 3 and to the
agreement to the terms of the license) re-distribute the binary or
executable code corresponding to said GPL'd work, modified or not,
licensed under the GPL.

There are other interactions, especially those contained in sections
#7 and #8, but I am too tired right now to get into them, and I will
only advise that any GPL'd work that tries to exert the authority
granted under section #8 is non-DFSG-free.

(*) if you bought a CD from an authorized/licensed dealer; if you
downloaded from the copyright holder's website or from a licensed
distributor's website, without circumventing any measures that try
to prevent your access to the file; etc.


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