Subject: Re: Admin burden of proprietary licenses.
From: Scott Goehring <>
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 07:48:56 -0500

"Russell" == Russell Nelson <> writes:

Russell> As I understand software law, once you've got a copy of a
Russell> piece of software, you own it.  You have certain additional
Russell> rights involving backup copies, but specifically, no one can
Russell> take it away from you, and no one can make you stop using it.
Russell> On the other hand, if someone claims that they hold the
Russell> copyright, they *can* force you to stop copying it.  

But note the IMSAI ruling, which held that loading a program into
system memory constitutes copying.  I know that there are bills in
Congress to reverse this ruling, but as far as I know it's valid case
law at the moment.  As long as this ruling stands, you cannot use
software unless you have a license to use it, whether or not you
acquired the tangible copy in good faith.  (An exception might exist
for code burned into a ROM, because such code is not copied in order
to execute it.)

(Don't tell me that this ruling is stupid.  I know that.  Judges know
even less about computers that the news media.)