They're involved in the distribution
Posted Jul 10, 2007 18:41 UTC (Tue) by rickmoen
In reply to: They're involved in the distribution
Parent article: Microsoft's proclamation on GPLv3
Thus, no terms or conditions apply to the act of receiving this software. They do apply to copying, distribution, and modification.
You are correct that it is not necessary to have a licence in order to merely receive software in a lawful fashion -- or to run it, for that matter (permission for that being implied in the manner of distribution). And indeed you've listed most of the copyright-reserved rights for which one must have permission. Use of those rights following literal I-took-a-copy-from-you receipt are what I was was intending to speak of. (I apologise for my poor choice of word.) For example, Microsoft Corporation in creating the GNU SDK for Interix needed the right to create derivative works; in distributing the SDK, it needed the right of redistribution. Both of those are available to them by opting to accept their copy under GPLv2, but not, as we both said, if they decline the licensing terms entirely, which would leave them only with the implied right to possess and run gcc.
Microsoft isn't even involved in that option....
It's involved in the physical conveyance of the copy, and therein lay our discussion. If you believed "sepreece", Microsoft would have (somehow) gained the prerogative of stripping the "at your option, any later version" terms from the copy they pass downstream to me.
My point is that "sepreece" is mistaken; that Microsoft lacks that option: It is obliged to pass along the copyright holder's conditions unaltered, which I as a lawful recipient am thus entitled to invoke. When I have done so, if I elect to accept GPLv3 conditions as applying to my instance of gcc (in order to gain the rights of modification, redistribution, etc.), I've demonstrably accepted a piece of GPLv3-covered FSF software from Microsoft Corporation.
Now, Microsoft in those circumstances might try to assert that they had nothing to do with the GPLv3-ness of my software instance; that that is solely a matter between me and FSF, and that they are not a party to the transaction, and nowhere have consented to that licence. That might prevail, and it might not. Good luck with that, guys.
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