The "Death Penalty"...
Posted Mar 25, 2012 9:02 UTC (Sun) by khim
In reply to: The "Death Penalty"...
Parent article: Enforcing the GPL with Judo moves (The H)
In the case of downloads, I believe that it's the owner of the download server who is the one who made the copy, not the person who downloaded it.
Are you cretin or just play one on TV? Try this for size:
- Your Honour, I'm not guilty of any wrongdoing. The copy or MS Windows (MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc) was on ftp.xxx.yyy and I've just downloaded and used it. I don't need any license for that.
- Oh, sorry, you are right and free to go, we'll talk with the operators of ftp.xxx.yyy!
Can you imagine this dialogue in any court anywhere in the world? If no then why do you think this exact dialogue should save GPL violators?
ISTR that the EFF has made a similar argument about pirated music, saying that the only people guilty of copyright infringement in that situation are the owners of the network host(s) from which the files were downloaded/uploaded.
This is novel interpretation to me. Citation needed. I'm pretty sure they talked about the fact that the people which downloaded music assumed they have implied license and about the fact that someone who does not know he's infringer can not be made to pay $100'000 penalty per copy. If someone infringed GPL and then decided to go download and use new copy then s/he knows full well what s/he's doing and does not deserve any such leniency.
For example, consider this scenario: I am the copyright holder of a program, I put it on my public website together with a copyright notice saying "all rights reserved", and then people download it and run it.
Companies do it all the time with updates. You can only download and use them if paid for the original. Otherwise it's considered piracy and can be prosecuted in court. This actually happens from time to time.
Those people have no explicit permission from me to do that (because it's "all rights reserved"), but according to §117, they don't need any.
This asinine theory was never tested in court and doubt it'll ever will be. There are plenty of warez sites where you can download commercial proprietary software. People who did that end up in court and are fined regularly and §117 does not save them.
And this isn't just a theoretical scenario either, because there are certain pieces of "freeware" which are distributed in this way. For example, "The ROMs on these pages have been approved for free distribution on this site only. Just because they are available here for download does not entitle you to put them on your own site".
You forgot the other part: Thanks to the generosity of some of the original creators of the classic games that MAME® can emulate, several games have been released for free, non-commercial use.
These two sentences form a license. It may not look like 100-pages commercial licenses, but it's license nonetheless.
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