Subject: Re: the provide, license verbs (was: Dual licensing)
From: Sam Barnett-Cormack <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 19:30:09 +0100 (BST)

On Wed, 9 Jun 2004, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. wrote:

> I essentially agree with Rick's comment, but it may be somewhat misleading.
> I suspect a copyright holder who issues a license would argue that the
> license changes everything. As such, if you are in lawful possession of
> software that is accompanied by a license, you are restricted to accepting
> the terms of the license or rejecting them. That's it. On the other hand,
> the  default rules Rick mentions would apply to a work like a book, which
> is not customarily distributed with a license.

The authors of the GPL seem to disagree.

> ..... Original Message .......
> On Wed, 9 Jun 2004 08:33:15 -0700 Rick Moen <> wrote:
> >Quoting Marius Amado Alves (
> >> Sam Barnett-Cormack wrote:
> >
> >> >The author gives me a copy of the software...
> >>
> >> Under no license?
> >
> >Marius, if you receive a piece of software encumbered by copyright (as
> >essentially all useful software is), you have the implied right to use
> >and (if needed) compile the software -- as provided by copyright
> >statute.  Other rights such as the right of redistribution, and the
> >creation and distribution of derivative works, are by default reserved
> >to the copyright holder.
> >
> >So, if you (lawfully) acquire a piece of software, you have a bundle of
> >rights by statutory action, by default.  Upon acquiring it, you might
> >find a licence grant from the copyright holder that is contingent on a
> >stated set of obligations.  If the obligations don't appeal to you,
> >nothing requires you to accept the licence, but then you possess only
> >the rights conveyed by statute (e.g., no right of redistribution).
> >
> >Copyright owners who don't want recipients to have that option often
> >resort to clipwrap agreements (an intended instrument of contract law),
> >instead.  (There are other reasons some authors prefer such instruments,
> >but that's a different discussion.)
> >
> >--
> >Cheers,                                            Rehab is for quitters.
> >Rick Moen
> >
> >--
> >license-discuss archive is at
> >
> --
> license-discuss archive is at


Sam Barnett-Cormack
license-discuss archive is at