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Re: [zen@freedbms.net: Veracrypt license - how to change it]


Il 07/08/19 14:29, Zenaan Harkness ha scritto:
>>> That's not the way this stuff works. You have to assume objection
>>> UNTIL given permission.
> So you say.  Your saying so does not make it true.

So says the law, as far as I know. Most copyright laws work by asserting
that the author of a copyrightable work has some exclusive rights over
it, and nobody can do those things unless they have an explicit
permission by the author themselves (there are exceptions to it, like
quoting and fair use, but it is not what we are dealing with now).

There is no "implit consent" mechanism here: the implicit assumption of
copyright is that rights are held exclusively for the author. Any
deviation from this must be explicit, which is the reason why licenses
are used.

Then of course you might say that you don't think that the authors would
sue you for your usage of their work even if they did not grant an
explicit license. That's sort of ok, or at least it is your business
until someone actually decides to proceed against you if they can and
wish. But if your aim is to have that software in Debian, I am pretty
sure that you will need something more. I really hope that FTP masters
will require some more hard facts that just "well, I personally don't
think the authors would be bothered by that".

> OK.  Perhaps a misunderstanding - to the extend that existing code
> authors have provided valid contact means (email, post etc), then
> attempt to contact them and provide the (1 or say 2 year relicensing
> notice) must be made, or prima facie our public duty of care has not
> been met.

I am not aware of any such mechanism: do you know court cases in which
this method was established?

Nobody has any obligation to be contactable in any way, and even less to
be contactable by the means you decided. It is on those who seek
relicensing to contact all those who have rights, and if they cannot,
bad for them.

>> Exceptions can possibly be made for trivial
>> contributions by reasoning that they are so simple that they cannot
>> be considered copyrightable, but that's a very risky way.
> Risky exactly how ??

The distinction between what is copyrightable and what is not can be
very thin. If the purported copyright holder and possibly the judge who
might handle your case do not agree with you, you might have some problem.

>> If some copyright holder (or their heirs) cannot be contacted or do
>> not agree,
> Conflation is a classic obfuscation technique which you might advise
> yourself to not use. Here you have chosen to conflate two utterly
> distinct legal (and legally relevant in the circumstances) concepts:
>  - copyright holders not able to be contacted
>  - copyright holders expressing their actual objection

I am not conflating anything. If the copyright holder is not contacted
you cannot know whether they have objections or not. If they do not,
then everything's ok. But if they do, then you have a problem, and this
problem can appear at any moment in the future, whenever the copyright
holder decides they have a problem. And I would never want to depend on
a software that can become illegal for me to use at any random moment,
especially if that software encrypts everything on my hard disk. It
would basically become a ransomware. I really hope nothing of that kind
ever enters Debian. If you feel at ease using it, better for you.

> And so the government, or rather the administration (the third arm)
> get their nefarious statute created monopolies on many things - the
> production of cotton and the suppression of hemp (for an old example)
> - the banning of alcohol and other drugs at different times, creating
> extremely lucrative black markets, the mandatory requirement in
> certain jurisdictions to ensure your children attend the local
> government brainwashing facility known as schools.

Hmm, it seems you got carried away just a little bit...

> Corporations use tacit consent regularly too - Uber gets going in a
> new city, and they assume the right to operate in the face of the
> existing laws about Taxi cabs etc, and build they user base quickly
> enough that by the time any court case gets going, they can have
> financial, legal and government clout to get the laws changed - but
> until that change happens, they operate under TACIT CONSENT - tacit
> consent of the people, and tacit consent of the government.

There is no law saying that you cannot operate cabs. Actually, there is
something like this somewhere, and in those places Uber cannot operate.
But this has nothing to do with our case, because in fact there is a law
saying that you cannot modify or redistributed other people's
copyrighted code unless you have explicit permission.

> Just because we are normally not taught about tacit consent, does not
> mean that tacit consent does not exist, or is not used on a daily
> basis all over the planet.

Yes, but for other things.

HTH, Giovanni.
Giovanni Mascellani <g.mascellani@gmail.com>
Postdoc researcher - Université Libre de Bruxelles

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