OSD compliant shareware

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Tue Nov 20 02:39:10 UTC 2001

On Monday 19 November 2001 05:05 am, David Woolley wrote:
> David Johnson wrote:
>  > As long as I obey the law with regards to copyright, then it is
> impossible
>  > for me to violate the GPL. Thus I am safe in not agreeing to it.
> That means that you never download the software
> from a distribution site, or copy it off borrowed media,
> and never redistribute it yourself,
> and that your suppliers are breaching the license by not
> imposing its terms on you when they provide you with the
> copy.

The GPL is binding upon the *distributor*, and not 
upon the receiver of the distributed software. I don't have to agree to the 
GPL in order to download or use GPLd software.

In the case of me distributing the software myself, I have been given 
permission by the author to distribute the software under certain conditions 
regardless of any agreement. The author may presume that I have agreed if I 
distribute the software, but there does not need to be an agreement for me to 
do so, provided I operate within the said conditions.

I may be a throwback to an earlier era when lawyers didn't rule the hacking 
community, but there is no need for a contract to even be in the GPL. If you 
are doing what is permitted then there is no problem. If you aren't doing 
what is permitted then you are in violation of copyright law. Formal contract 
law need not enter into it. Seems simple to me. Since the GPL reads very much 
like a grant of permission, I treat it as such.

David Johnson
pgp public key on website
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