[MPlayer-dev-eng] KiSS of copyright

Christof Buergi christof at buergi.lugs.ch
Fri Mar 26 11:23:35 CET 2004

D Richard Felker III sagte:
> Your class was taught by the idiots who want it to be that way.

Yeah, whatever.

> If you want me to believe this nonsense, SHOW ME THE LAW that says you
> have to have a license. These is no such law.

Easy: http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/231_1/a19.html

The important parts are number 1 and 4:

1. Published works may be used for oneself. Use for oneself is:
 a) any use in the private area, including persons like close friends
    or relatives;
 b) any use from a teacher for educational purposes;
 c) duplication of exemplars ... for internal information and

4. This paragraph does not apply to computer programs.

This means, that you have no right to use software unless you have an
explicit acceptance from the copyright holder. A license is such an
acceptance. To quote from GPL: "The act of running the Program is not
restricted." This sentence gives you permission to run the software.

> This is blatently a LIE. Why don't you READ the fucking GPL which
> EXPLICITLY says you are not required to accept it to use the
> software???

You undoubtly talk about clause 5. This clause void by law, at least
in europe. Let me explain:

"You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it."
This is no rule, but an explanation. According to law, there are three
ways to accept a license: Subscription, formless acceptance or
implicit acceptence. Obviously, subscription is not possible, and
implicit acceptance needs an official offer complete with a date, at
which the offer must be turned down lest it's considered to be

"However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute
the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by
law if you do not accept this License."
Again, no rule but an explanation. In fact, if you don't accept the
license, you lose *any* right granted by the license, including the
right to run the software.

"Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work
based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to
do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or
modifying the Program or works based on it."
This clearly contradicts law. As mentioned above, only formless
acceptance is possible. This means, the license is accepted, if the
user thinks so. Usage of the software does *not* imply acceptance.

> In fact some idiotic authors of GPL software (which includes other
> people's GPL code) make you click a click-thru GPL in order to
> download the source. This is ILLEGAL, because the GPL does not allow
> additional restrictions to be placed when copying/distributing, and
> requiring someone to agree to the GPL ** IS AN ADDITIONAL RESTRICTION
> **.

Well, at least in europe, it isn't, since clicking on an "I agree"
button is not considered an agreement, here. But that's nitpicking.

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