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Re: what's the killer app for GNU/Linux systems?

John Hasler wrote:

If you give or sell me a copy of a work of yours I own that copy and can do
as I please with it (that includes running it if it is a computer program)
with no need for a license.  However, copyright law forbids me to make and
distribute copies of it without your permission.

Feel free to feel bound and to limit your own freedom if you so choose.

It's a self-imposed limitation in the case of my example of non-licensed, non-attributed code that I typed into the mailing list.

Code is protected by copyright by default and may not be copied and
distributed without permission of the copyright owner.

If you feel you need to follow that law in every circumstance, go right ahead. Breaking copyright in the case of someone releasing something without a license appears to be a victim-less crime.

Thus, copyright in the real world only matters if the author chooses to exercise it.

By your definition, you could have hit reply with quoting turned on in your MUA to my code example I sent -- and then you would have been a law breaker!

I could start sprinkling code into my signature line and then sue everyone who quotes it on a mailing list? Yeah, right. It'd actually be fun to see someone try that and see how far it got in the legal system.

I continue to contend that if you put it up in public (not private, there are differences there) for anyone to see, and it has no license or stated Copyright -- you'll have no leg to stand on if you attempted to take that to a court to enforce copyright later. No matter how the law is written, no Judge with half a brain cell operating would allow me to sue you for hitting "reply" and "copying" my code.

Therefore the most effective way to "share" code with absolutely zero encumbrances, is simply to post it somewhere in public, and to force people to grow up and make their own decisions about whether or not they wish to copy it and use it. No license required.

Copyright may be automatic, but doesn't apply unless the author chooses to enforce it. And by posting it in public, they've taken all their own teeth out if they were ever dumb enough to try to retroactively enforce it later on.


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