Subject: Re: Possibly stupid GPL question
Date: 29 Sep 1999 22:42:56 -0000

From: Russell Nelson <>
> The license grants permission to copy. If you're not copying something
> (as in, "contractural obligation not to"), then the license has no effect.


Are you sure you are not confused about _which_ act of copying requires
license compliance?

I give a copy to party "B". Party "B" gives a copy to party "C", in clear
knowledge that party "C" has a pre-existing agremeent that would place some
restrictions on distribution of my copyrighted work in contradiction to my

So, it's the act of party "B" transferring a copy to "C" that is a license
violation, _not_ the transfer from party "C" to a fourth party. Consider that
party "C" is not an employee or a contractor, but an unpaid beta tester or a
customer. They can't really be considered to be part of the same legal entity,
even if they are in some way enjoined by an agreement.