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Re: OpenCascade license opinion

On 21/12/2007, Arnoud Engelfriet <arnoud@engelfriet.net> wrote:
> Well, if a lawful acquirer is someone who has a right to use it,
> why would the Directive need to spell out they have the right to use it?

Well, quite. That's probably why the UK implementation hides it away
in section 50C under the bland heading "Other acts permitted to lawful
users". That says to me that the parliamentary draughtsman found it as
baffling as I do.

But to be precise, it isn't quite saying "Someone who has the right to
use the software has the right to use the software". It's saying
"Someone who has the right to use the software has the right to copy
and adapt it to the extent necessary to enable them to do so". It
still seems to be solving a non-existent problem, but you can see what
it's getting at.

It's like saying, "Someone who has the right to park their car in this
parking space has the right to drive their car onto that parking

> By saying that a lawful acquirer can load & execute the software,
> my reading is that the clause grants them some kind of permission.

Whereas my reading is that the permission granted by this clause is
merely incidental to some other permission that makes them a lawful
user. But I admit that I've not looked to see whether there is any
case law or commentary on this point.

> The practical difference is that the GPL introduces several additional
> terms that I have to agree with. The exclusion of liability, for one.

Fair point. Though if the GPL is non-contractual (or if it is a
contract that a user can decline to accept) then it's difficult to see
what liability the licensor would have anyway. The "no warranty"
provision in the GPL is as much a statement of fact (in most cases) as
anything else.



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