Subject: Re: license nits on "adzap"
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <email@example.com>
From: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
Date: 05/23/2000 19:29:08
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 23:47:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg A. Woods)
| So far as I've come to understand the above type of "license
| restriction" (if indeed it had been listed as a term in the copyright)
| cannot (yet, thankfully) be enforced under copyright law in many, if not
| most, jurisdictions (certainly not in at least some major "havens" of
| Internet servers and connectivity! ;-).
Maybe, maybe not.
| Presumably in Australia it is a separate law that defines whether or not
| any given software product may be used in a certain way or not (just as
| it is a separate law in some jurisdiction that covers whether or not any
| given person is allowed to use, or even possess, encryption software).
No, you missed the point entirely. This software is (apparently) something
that allows "naughty" web sites to be filtered, which is something a lot of
people like to do (esp when their kids are the ones accessing the web).
The Aust govt doesn't mind that at all, in fact, they have made it mandatory
for ISPs to do so (or they have tried, whether that successfully or not
is not yet clear - let alone the practical problems, but those are largely
immaterial, this is a political decision, it makes them seem to be doing
something, which helps keep quiet those in the community who demand they do).
The software author evidently doesn't like this legislation, and is attempting
to prevent ISPs from using his software to implement the legislation.
| Copyright law (in general)
| cannot protect shareware that's available for anonymous FTP,
That's nonsense - anon ftp is no different than a public library. If
something is protected by copyright (which most stuff created is these days)
then it is protected, wherever it is put. The very point of copyright
is to allow works to be distributed, while retaining the rights of the
| nor can it
| tell anyone what they can or cannot do "privately" with a legally
| obtained copy of something,
That's true, as far as it goes, but the "legally obtained" part is what
counts. If in order to "legally obtain" a copy of whatever it is you want,
you have to enter into an agreement to pay $N to the author, then clearly
you have to pay. That's what happens when you buy a book... Alternatively
if you have to enter into an agreement not to use software for commercial
purposes, then that's what you have to do (or come to some other arrangement
with the author). It isn't the copyright law that stops you doing what you
want with the copy you have legally obtained, but the contract you entered
into that allowed you to legally obtain the copy.
| > Assuming we want pkgsrc to respect the wishes of the author,
| (don't you mean "the wishes of the Australian Government"? -- the author
| seems to indicate a dislike for this state of affairs!)
No, the original was correct. The Aust Govt would be delighted to have
such software widely available and used - especially by ISPs.