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Re: JMRI case -- Implementation of the Federal Circuit's Opinion

From: ZnU
Subject: Re: JMRI case -- Implementation of the Federal Circuit's Opinion
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 01:46:53 -0500
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <85wsd5nzaq.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 

> ZnU <znu@fake.invalid> writes:
> > In article <85r63dpho3.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> > wrote:
> >> 
> >> To have the GPL evaluated on "its merits", the defendant has to state
> >> that he considers being in compliance with the GPL.  Up to now, none
> >> of the defendants put forward that theory.  So there is no point for
> >> the judge to go to the GPL in detail when the defendant does not
> >> claim use of the license: its acceptance is quite voluntary.  If the
> >> defendant did not accept it, the case is not about the GPL or its
> >> merits.
> >
> > I'm not sure I understand this. If you reject the GPL, doesn't
> > downloading a copy of a Linux distro (for instance) become copyright
> > violation?
> Sure.  There is a reason most of these cases settle once judge or legal
> counsel has pointed this out to the defendant.
> > The GPL is the only thing authorizing you to make that copy.
> No, it is the only thing offering such authorization _a priori_ to any
> interested party.  Most certainly other agreements or authorizations may
> be put in effect.

Sure, I'm talking about the general case. Obviously if you can obtain 
specific permission from the copyright holder(s) you can use the code 
under other terms. (Though in practice this is nearly impossible with 
some large GPL projects.)

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all
things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in
our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your
answer."                                  -- Barack Obama, November 4th, 2008

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