The "Death Penalty"...
Posted Mar 25, 2012 9:26 UTC (Sun) by khim
In reply to: The "Death Penalty"...
Parent article: Enforcing the GPL with Judo moves (The H)
In most cases, the owner of a copy (which is a piece of physical property) is irrelevant — what's far more important is who holds the copyright.
Sure, but ownership of the copy is also important. Not how you've cited contradictory piece in the very next paragraph:
all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful
See how this sentence talks about “continued possession of the computer program” and not about “continued possession of the physical copy of the computer program”. This distinction is important. You can use your copy in a case where original CD deteriorated beyond repair and you can even create new copies to make sure they'll not go away in case your HDD dies.
It's not even theoretical difference. OEM version of Windows comes with one, single DVD and 100 (or more) holographic labels. As far as law is concerned it's 100 copies, not one.
Distinction between copy and physical copy becomes more and more relevant in a world where physical media longevity shrinks more and more. Books lasted for hundreds of years (modern books will last less because of the acid issue), LPs deteriorate in a century, CDs and DVDs useful life is about 30-50 years (yet significantly less for recordable variants) while HDDs and SSDs rarely last even 10 years. We've went from a case where one physical copy lasted few generation to a case where one copy must be moved dozen of times by a single individual. This means separate of “copy” notion from “physical copy” is inevitable.
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