On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 19:25:51 -0600 Isaac <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 18:16:56 +0100, Stefaan A Eeckels > <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 09:22:38 -0600 > > Isaac <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > > >> I'm not sure whether I agree that you have to own a copy of GPL > >> software to be a licensee > > > > You can indeed obtain a license from the copyright holder without > > owning a copy. A license is an agreement between two parties, and I > > believe that quite often Microsoft Volume licensing deals do not > > include copies of the software. > > I did not say that such a thing was generally impossible. The > question is whether the GPL itself provides for becoming a licensee > without making a copy.
There are two activities that are normally forbidden by Copyright that are allowed when one accepts the GPL: 1. Making and distributing copies 2. Preparing derivative works. I believe that in both cases, the person or entity wishing to accept the GPL has to be in possession of a lawful copy. For example, if you steal a CD with GPLed software from me, you are not in a position to claim that you are entitled to redistribute this software under the GPL, as I might not have wanted to give you a copy in the first place. This could be software that I did not intend to distribute, but had prepared for my own purposes. The fact that the CD contains the "COPYING" file with the GPL doesn't mean that I have to distribute it, or that when it is stolen, I cannot recover my property. Obviously, when the CD contains an old unmodified version of GCC neither I nor the copyright holders will care much about the thief copying and distributing it. If, however, it is a CD that contains software that looks like a GPLed work (which it would if it was a derivative work prepared in accordance with the requirements of the GPL), only a lawful copy (i.e. given to a third party by the owner of the derivative work) would enable the rightful owner (and not just anyone having physical access to a copy) to obtain a license under the GPL. Take care, -- Stefaan -- As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning, and meaningful statements lose precision. -- Lotfi Zadeh _______________________________________________ Gnu-misc-discuss mailing list Gnufirstname.lastname@example.org http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gnu-misc-discuss