[linux-elitists] SCO licences unnecessary?
Karsten M. Self
Wed Aug 6 01:24:46 PDT 2003
on Wed, Aug 06, 2003 at 02:06:10PM +1000, Martin Pool (email@example.com) wrote:
> Suspending disbelief, let's assume that there really is some amount of
> proprietary SCO code in the kernel, and that it has not already been
> licenced by SCO under the GPL. (I can't see how, but let's pretend.)
> Under yesterday's plan, SCO think they are being clever by asking for
> licence fees without themselves distributing Linux and therefore
> breaching the GPL. They are granting "right to use" licences to
> end-users without the right to modify or redistribute.
> As far as I know, there is no concept of "right to use" in copyright
> law. As Eben Moglen wrote, "In general, users of copyrighted works do
> not need licenses..."
> People who are only using Linux and not distributing it -- the only
> people who SCO are now threatening -- seem to be the ones who have
> exactly nothing to fear.
Your exclusive rights as an author or copyright holder are in 17 USC §
106. Listing those applicable to software, these are the rights:
- to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
- to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
- to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the
public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease,
Moreover, in the case of a computer program, the owner of a copy of a
computer program has the "use" right granted, insofar as such can be
granted under copyright, in that the making of the copy of a computer
program necessary to run this program is allowed. Or in legalese (yes,
the preceding _is_ English ;-):
17 USC § 117
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an
infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make
or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that
computer program provided: that such a new copy or adaptation is
created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer
program in conjunction with a machine.
Find both these at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/
Note that Copyright law covers (well, with the exception of 1012),
_copying_). Not use. Not ideas. Not methods. Copies, copying,
reproduction, distribution (and in audiovisual works, public performance
Note too that it's signing a contract which fell into Caldera/SCO's
hands which got IBM into hot water in the first place.
Karsten M. Self <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
"Yes," said Marvin. "Wearily I sit here, pain and misery my only
companions. And vast intelligence of course. And infinite sorrow.
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