Python 2.2 license

Chris D. Sloan cds at
Tue Nov 20 02:51:52 UTC 2001

On Mon, Nov 19, 2001 at 11:16:43AM -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> As is well known, I think the "otherwise using" part of clause 8
> is mere flatus vocis: using software you lawfully own can't impose
> any contract requirement on you.

Can obtaining that copy impose restrictions on use, though?

In other words:

- It is my understanding that 17 USC 117 allows you to make the copies
  necessary to use any program of which you legally own a copy (among
  other things).

- Now, assume that the only way you can obtain a legal copy is through
  a license which states, "If you accept this license, you give up
  your rights under 17 USC 117 to perform copies needed to use the
  program, except under condition X."

- US law says I have the right, but the license tries to take it
  away.  Which one wins?

- (If the answer depends on this, then assume that the license is
  included with the distribution (like the GPL and BSD typically are)
  and that there was no actual signing of contracts or any form of
  direct contact with the author.)


Chris Sloan
cds at
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