(OT) - NOT A Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Alexander Terekhov alexander.terekhov at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 20:21:06 UTC 2008

On Feb 8, 2008 8:54 PM, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov writes:
>  > But you do not *need* a license to distribute copies lawfully made.
> Essentially you are saying that it's impossible to restrict the
> distribution of downloadable copyrighted materials.  If I go to a
> website that offers to let me download a work, and I fetch a copy, I
> can do anything I want with that copy without needing a license,
> including make derivative works.  Just like I can buy a book and turn
> it into a planter without needing a copyright license.
> So, if I download a demo song from somebody's website, I can put it up
> on my website, or make a remix of it, even though it's copyrighted.
> As long as I can show that I've downloaded more copies from their
> website than I've distributed, I'm covered.
> That's a great legal theory.  Tell me when you get a judge to sign off
> on it.  In the meantime, could you stop fantasizing?

Private derivative works under 17 USC 117 aside for a moment, I am
proposing lawfully acquiring and distributing copies and not making
new copies. If the law requires that a backup or adapted copy be
distributed with the originals, I would do that and then acquire, at
no expense, a new copy. Rinse lather repeat.

You ask how a copy would be acquired without accepting a license such
as for example the GPL.

I'm not aware of an expectation or requirement to accept the GPL
before downloading the software. Free software is often made available
for downloading without any notice obtained before, during or after
the download that the copies obtained must be deleted if the GPL is
not accepted.

Anyone can obtain publicly available GPLd software, and provided only
that they include source code, operate a free or paid distribution ftp
site in which they allow GPLd software to be downloaded without

End quote. Attribution: Isaac.


"Notwithstanding Jacobsen's confused discussion of unilateral
contracts, bilateral contracts, implied licenses, "licenses to the
world" and "bare" licenses in his Appellant's Brief, the issue at hand
is fairly simple."

 -- Brief of Appellees (CAFC 2008-1001).

More information about the License-discuss mailing list