Subject: Re: The myth of copyright license permissions
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 23:22:33 -0400

dlw scripsit:

> The Supreme Court has never revisited this "privity of contract"
> principle nor has Congress ever denied it. Congress did embrace
> this constraint in section 109(a) of the modern day law. No
> Federal appellate court has ever contradicted this restriction on
> the copyright monopoly.
> It seems that Richard Stallman has been very successful in
> creating an a modern urban legend.

"Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus."  So much scholarship,
so little relevance.  And like that.

Sharing software with others means *copying* it.  Yes, the first sale
doctrine lets you transfer your copy of a program to someone else,
leaving you with no trace of it at all (remove it from your system,
transfer ownership of the installation media), provided the program was
really sold to you in the first place (which Microsoft and all other
proprietary software companies deny).  It doesn't let you share a copy
with your friend, or make a derivative work.  If you do those things
with Microsoft software, they come after you.  If you do it with GPLed
software, you play by the GPL or they come after you.  Believe it.

And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening
beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from
inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding
and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic
tenebrous ultimate gods -- the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul
is Nyarlathotep. (Lovecraft) John Cowan||
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