> Free software is about freedom (liberty) for the end user. It's not > about control by the author (except in specific limited respects). If > you want control by the author, then you have a different philosophy. > Freedom is about giving up control. More freedom, less control. More > control, less freedom. Get it?

When philosophy and law collide, the enforcable law
always dominates.

The Copyright Act is limited in scope (by judicial
interpretation) to transferring "copies" in contractual
privity by the copyright owner and those receiving the
copies -- (the contracting parties).

Any enforceable term allowed by contract law, including
use restrictions that are not and attempt to regulate
copyright law outside of privity may be placed on the
copyrighted material by the owner of the copyright.

Any attempt to regulate copyright rewards outside of
contractual privity is preempted by sec. 301 of the
Copyright Act regardless of the philosophical
underpinnings of "free as in 'freedom' software".

I am attracted to the philosophical principle of free
software and "copyleft", unfortunately that kind of
licensing is not possible under current law.

Even worse is the fact that the exponentially growing pool
of software utility patents and their attendant "field of use"
restrictions without any requirement of contractual privity
are rapidly rendering software copyright license discussions
irrelevant to developements in Information Technology.

Daniel Wallace


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