Re: web hosting providers' modified .debs
On Fri, 25 Jan 2008, John Halton wrote:
> > Maybe I'm missing someone, but in this scenario, isn't it the user who logs
> > in, not the administrator, making the copy? The administrator wouldn't
> > be conveying anything since he's not copying. The user is distributing
> > someone else's software to himself, which might be illegal, but would not
> > obligate the administrator.
> The definition of "propagate" in GPL v.3 is quite broad, and includes
> not only copying but "making available to the public" and so on. So
> the administrator will almost certainly be "propagating" the work.
I still don't think so.
"To "propagate" a work means to do anything with it that, without
permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for
infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a
computer or modifying a private copy. Propagation includes copying,
distribution (with or without modification), making available to the
public, and in some countries other activities as well."
Not all kinds of making available are propagation. It's only propagation if
making it available would, without permission, make you liable for
infringement. Merely leaving a readable file where someone can copy it
doesn't make you liable for infringement. (Imagine the situation where
the software isn't GPL. If I lend you my laptop, that doesn't make me
liable for infringement just because the copy of Microsoft Windows on it
is readable and could be copied.)