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Re: Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL (EDITED spelling)

by mdupont (Scribe)
on Jun 20, 2002 at 12:19 UTC ( #175980=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL
in thread OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL

Also Remember that the GPL does not copyright the output of the program.

This is basically a hole in the gpl

mike


Comment on Re: Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL (EDITED spelling)
Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL
by hacker (Priest) on Jun 20, 2002 at 13:20 UTC
    Also Remember that the GPL does not copyright the output of the program.

    That's not entirely true. We're currently involved in persuing a GPL investigation/case against what was originally one company, but now has turned into three companies (the latter two being customers of the first). When/if the GPL is removed from the equation, the licensing becomes more restrictive, and all rights fall back on the copyright holder. The copyright holder owns the copyright to anything he creates. This includes a custom application which has a custom output data format, which was created using code that was covered under the GPL (such as a document format or a file format). The file is not covered under the GPL, but the process which created the data it contains, is. Subtle difference, but still enforcable.

    Here's an example (which models our current investigation very closely): Company X downloads a GPL piece of software, removes the developers names and license files, replaces them with their own, updates the code a bit and produces a derivitave binary which they then sell to two of their customers. At this point, they are directly in violation of the GPL for:

    1. Not providing source to these customers or to third-party persons who independantly request it (GPL::3a), and
    2. Not providing a 'written offer' to those customers (GPL::3b)
    3. Illegally re-licensing the application without consent of the copyright holders.

    Now, since this is a clear violation of the GPL in both license and spirit, their rights to continue to use that code are immediately revoked (GPL::4) and every copy they continue to sell or redistribute from that point forward is now an illegal copyright violation, which also allows the copyright holder to persue them under:

    1. US Copyright violations
    2. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
    3. Lanham Act violations ("mis-representation of origin")

    Once the GPL is violated, the amount of restrictions and "laws broken" increases. This is important to get across to people who wish to license their code under the GPL. People consider this a viral license, not because it "infects" code it touches, but because once you violate it, it brings with it a whole truckload of other infractions to be considered.

    Our "parser" is GPL'd, our "viewer" is GPL'd, and our "output file format" is also GPL'd. Changes to any of the above require that they be released back to the community under that license. Failure to do so removes your right to continue using them, and now makes it harder to do so.

    I'm glad our FSF-appointed attorney in our particular case is well-versed in these issues. I would never have known about this if it wasn't for her skill and perserverence.

      >The file is not covered under the GPL, but the process

      >which created the data it contains, is.

      Now in the case that I am dealing with, the data is from the memory of the GCC.

      That means there is not any copyright on it. Therefore anyone can use that data!

      Not via the RGPL.

      All the ouput of the data is licensed only for usage by GPLed software or other RGPL software.

      This is a free software end user license agreement and requires a complete new software distribution model

Re: Re: Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL (EDITED spelling)
by ignatz (Vicar) on Jun 20, 2002 at 13:23 UTC
    How is this a hole? The copyright for the output of a program is owned by the person running the program and the owner of the copyright for the data that is being effected by the program.

    For instance: if I sing a song into a recorder on my computer and use a program to save it as an mp3, I own the copyright for the data that the program created. Now if the program has patents for the methods that it uses to create the file based upon my music, I may owe the patent owner a licensing fee, but that is different than copyright.

    Copyright for software only deals with the code that created the software, not with what the software creates or changes.

    ()-()
     \"/
      `                                                     
    
    p.s. I am not a lawyer... these are only my stupid opinions... yadayadayada
      Look at the current fears of the GCC of a non-free backend.

      There are tools that can dump the source code and then process it outside of the GCC, thus creating a non-free plug in.

      That is the whole I am talking about.

      mike

        Using an application to munge on a file doesn't change the copyright of that file. This doesn't sound like a loophole in copyright, it just sounds like an example of good ol' fashioned theft IMNSHO.
        ()-()
         \"/
          `                                                     
        

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