RealNetworks' RTSP Proxy License

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Fri Sep 7 20:13:49 UTC 2001

On Fri, 7 Sep 2001, Jeffry Smith wrote:

> OK, not being a lawyer, I may not have the full grasp, but from my
> one term of Business Law, I don't see how a license is enforceable
> EXCEPT under contract law.  Nothing in Copyright Law specifies the
> "Licenses" (at least what I've read of the 1976 law and the DMCA),
> only what the default rights of the parties are.

I don't mean to make specific factual legal claims, but I was under the
impression that a license is a "grant" of rights.  Copyright law
specifies default rights of all parties, and - importantly - the
ability for the various parties to grant rights they hold to other

For instance, it makes little sense that there must be a contract for a
copyright holder to grant any user the right to copy and distribute
their publication (I've seen stuff like this from some of the lovely
street-side preachers here in town, who *really* want to get their
message out).

It seems to also make sense that such grants could be subject to
restrictions, i.e., only granting a 'part' of the right.

It further seems reasonable that this freeform grant of rights would
have developed its own body of law, and come to be known as licenses
whether copyright law actively addresses it or not.

However, this is definitely beyond me, and I am hoping to be corrected
(at least on my grossest errors).
 Matthew Weigel
 Research Systems Programmer
 mcweigel at ne weigel at

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