Subscription/Service Fees - OSD Intent

phil hunt philh at
Thu Mar 29 11:14:57 UTC 2001

On 28 Mar 2001, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> the recipient is permitted to run the program.  The last time this was
> discussed, Russ Nelson (who is on the OSI board) said this:
> | If you have legally received a copy of a program (and
> | OSD #1 guarantees the right of the person giving you a copy to do so),
> | you are free to use it or not, as you wish.  Copyright law only
> | restricts copying.  You could only restrict the activities of a
> | *recipient* if you could require them to execute a license, but OSD #7
> | prohibits that.

Perhaps I'm being stupid, but that doesn't make much sense to me. 
Say I write a program and distribute it under the GPL, then any of
the recipients of the program may only use it under the terms of
the GPL; they may not do anything that the GPL prohibits. So they
are not "free to use it as [they] wish".

Or does #7 only apply to usage *other than* copying? If so, does this mean
that if someone illegally encapsulates my GPL'd code then they can still
legally run my program?

***** Phil Hunt ***** 
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