What GPL/EU compatibility is needed?
Posted Jan 7, 2013 13:59 UTC (Mon) by edeloget (subscriber, #88392)
Unless I'm mistaken, the licensing terms are supposed to be useful to both the developper AND the user. There is something like "if you don't agree with the licensing terms, then you are not allowed to use that software" (that's still true with the GPL or with any FOSS license). Now, if a user is not able to read the license, how can he accept it?
Posted Jan 7, 2013 14:49 UTC (Mon) by ekj (guest, #1524)
Indeed, the GPL says so explicitly. Quote: "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"
That is, you do *NOT* need to agree to the GPL in order to use the software, or indeed to do anything permitted under copyright-law. The GPL in effect says: "You don't have to agree with any of this - but *if* you agree, you get a set of additional rights, including the right to distribute, copy and modify the software"
Posted Jan 7, 2013 15:56 UTC (Mon) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
In the US, or everywhere?
Posted Jan 8, 2013 15:13 UTC (Tue) by ekj (guest, #1524)
It's true that a few jurisdictions have insane definitions of "copying" that makes even transient copies, such as those exisint in RAM of a program executed from the hard-disc "copies" in the copyright-sense. In those jurisdictions, you require a permission from the copyright-holder to run a program, because running it includes making copies of it.
More sane jurisdictions discount such temporary functional copies from their definition of "copy" and no permission is required.
However: even in those jurisdictions where you -do- need permission to run a program, it is quite clear that the GPL grants you this permission.
Posted Jan 8, 2013 17:08 UTC (Tue) by etienne (guest, #25256)
Would you call installation of the software package on the hard disk a "transient copy", or are you talking of live DVD distributions where someone else did the DVD copy?
Posted Jan 8, 2013 17:56 UTC (Tue) by ekj (guest, #1524)
I find the model of copyright used here in Norway to be fairly reasonable, with the exception that the protection-time is MUCH too long.
Here, such incidental copies that are required for the normal use of a legally aquired work, are allowed. This includes installing software from a DVD onto a hard-disc, loading that program into RAM, and also taking a complete backup of a machine with the program installed. (all of these things fall under "normal use")
But all this is nitpicking - and nitpicking that by its nature is jurisdiction-specific. Even if you're unlucky enough to live somewhere where you do need permission to use a program you legally aquired, then that's still not a problem because the GPL grants such a permission. In practical terms it's impossible to break the GPL by making multiple copies of the software for your own use -- what would you do: refuse to give yourself the sourcecode ?
In short, unless you distribute GPLed software - or derivative works, you don't need to agree to anything in particular to use the software for anything you like.
Posted Jan 9, 2013 11:17 UTC (Wed) by etienne (guest, #25256)
Are you saying that in Norway, if you completely break the GPL license (for instance by incorporating GPL source code inside your closed source product, pretending that you have written it all yourself, and selling that software), then you still have the right to use the initial GPL software, because:
- the copy of the GPL software you have downloaded from a FTP server has been created on your own hard drive by the FTP server and not by yourself
- the copy in /usr/bin resulting on the installation of the .deb/.rpm is "normal use"
- the copy in memory at execution time is also "normal use"?
Is it fairly reasonable?
Posted Jan 9, 2013 11:43 UTC (Wed) by ekj (guest, #1524)
But of course, the copyright-holder could sue you for illegally distributing a derived work from your FTP-server.
Those are two entirely distinct questions:
1) Can you legally *use* this software that you legally downloaded from wherever ? Yes you can.
2) Can you legally distribute copies of it, or works that are derived from it, without the permission of the copyright-holder ? No you can not.
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