The Copyright Act preempts the GPL

jcowan at jcowan at
Mon Feb 9 15:34:08 UTC 2004

Peterson, Scott K (HP Legal) scripsit:

> If, when impeded in some way from undertaking one of the actions
> exclusive to the copyright holder, a copyright holder could go to court
> and use the copyright rights to overcome the impediment - that would be
> an exercise of an affirmative right. 

In that case, please give an example of what you do consider an affirmative

> As I am not aware of an example of a copyright holder exercising a right
> in such a way, I continue to find it most helpful to think of copyright
> as a negative right.

No one can quarrel with what it is that you find most helpful.

John Cowan                                   jcowan at
        "You need a change: try Canada"  "You need a change: try China"
                --fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know
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