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Re: [tlug] GPL Quote

葉潤 理男 writes:

 > No, you can do whatever you want on your own machine (although some 
 > EULAs would have you believe otherwise, DMCA notwithstanding).

That is *not true* in the U.S.  There are many common practices
(backup, time-shifting, media conversion) which U.S. courts have
determined are "fair use" or have implied licenses.  However, that
does not extend to "whatever you want".  Under the DMCA, reverse
engineering, except for purpose of making archival backups *for public
libraries* is explicitly disallowed.  Also, some of the implied
licenses can be revoked by explicit terms in the EULA, others cannot.

BTW, violating the DMCA by circumventing "technical means" is a
criminal act, whatever you believe the ethics/morality is.  Giving
misinformation on these points is not a friendly thing to do.

 > It's only when you try to distribute the GPL-ed software that
 > copyright comes in to play and you have to follow the terms of the
 > license.

Again, not true.  Copyright comes into play as soon as you do anything
but try to run a binary or view source, since you can't do anything
with software without making copies (eg, long-term media to RAM to
cache to CPU).  In the U.S., running binaries and viewing documents
(including source) are explicitly fair use (of a legally acquired
copy), so you don't need a license.  For everything else you have to
obey the license.  I'm not sure how this is handled in jurisdications
where the concept of fair use is not available (Japan, Europe AFAIK).

In the case of the GPL, those terms are fairly liberal, of course, and
it explicitly says that "what you do on your own machine is your
business".  This is no longer true for the Affero GPL, however, so
even in the copyleft world you have to be careful about claims that
privacy overrides copyright.

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