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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
RMS on Copyrightability of APIs
Posted May 1, 2012 17:27 UTC (Tue) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
Posted May 1, 2012 17:46 UTC (Tue) by csd (subscriber, #66784)
(a) copying has to be done in accordance with GPL - and copying a binary into your computer counts (be it from the internet from another medium).
(b) users only get to use the license as long as they are in "full compliance".
My interpretation of that is that you are only allowed to copy the gpl licensed library if you plan to use it in accordance with the gpl - and if you agree to copy a program which is in violation of the gpl when linked against a gpl licensed library, and your intent it to do exactly that, then you are not in full compliance as a user. Thus you loose your license. I.e. this is willfull infrigement on the part of the user if he/she plans to download a code that violates the license when linked against gpl code.
But I agree that the gpl is confusing on this part. I can see your argument too - the part that is a hold up for me is 'copy', which ultimately both sides are doing - the one publishing and the one receiving - as being the potential issue with your interpretation. We'll find out if this is ever tested in court. Cases that have been tested afaik only test the more obvious cases of releasing modified versions of gpl licensed code (busybox, kernel), I am not aware of any test of the linkage clauses of the gpl
Posted May 1, 2012 21:37 UTC (Tue) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285)
So, your point (a) may not apply.
Probably, if you copy it from an internet site. Probably not, if someone else writes it onto media and hands it to you.
In that second case, someone else made the copy. You are not bound by license by receiving the copy. And, you can copy it off the media onto your computer via Fair Use, and/or automatic permission to use media as intended. The intended use of a computer program is to run it on a computer, which involves required copying onto disk and into RAM. I'm not a lawyer and I don't have the case reference, but I am fairly sure that the copies required to make use of a computer program were decided to not require a license agreement.
Posted May 1, 2012 21:45 UTC (Tue) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285)
US Copyright Act section 117 - http://www.bitlaw.com/source/17usc/117.html
"[...]it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner[...]"
Posted May 2, 2012 10:42 UTC (Wed) by Los__D (guest, #15263)
All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met. This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program."
"Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted."
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