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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

* Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> [080825 06:33]:
> > [???] The GPL ensures that everyone is allowed all the things they
> > would be if there was no license at all.
> If there was no license at all to a work, the freedoms granted by the
> GPL would be wholly restricted by copyright. I think you mean "??? if
> there was no copyright at all".

No, if there was no copyright at all, then people could just only
distribute binaries and many people would be practically restricted from
making significant changes. (Changing binaries is not that hard (at
least it wasn't back in the times when bits where expensive and I last
did so), but with more than a few non-significant changes it gets soon
annoying without the source).

What I meant is that while GPL uses copyright to give people rights, it
does not restrict people beyond what copyright already imposes.

When you are given a copy of some software then you are allowed everything
that halfly sane copyright laws do not restrict: to run the software[1],
to look at it and what it does with your computer[2] and general fair use.

GPL does not restrict those, but rather limits the additional rights it
gives you from those you would have without any copyright law a bit in a
way to make sure other people's rights are more effective (by forbidding
obscured source (e.g. binaries ;->)).

	Bernhard R. Link

[1] I know there are some theories that running is copying to memory and
thus needs permission, but luckily they are not that widespread
[2] As I was told as least the German Federal Consitutional Court has
rules that this is a right computer users have here that is not
restricted by copyright law and might not be restricted by consumer grade

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