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Re: [vox-tech] Copyright and license
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Re: [vox-tech] Copyright and license

On Sun 23 Jan 05,  2:33 PM, Richard Harke <rharke@earthlink.net> said:
> On Sunday 23 January 2005 13:02, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > Suppose someone writes a useful document.  They put a copyright notice onto
> > the document, but no license.  They put it on the web, for free, and it
> > stays there for years.  At some point I download a copy of that document.
> > The *intention* (although not explicitly stated) is for people to download
> > the document and play around with it (the document in question is an OpenGL
> > programming tutorial).
> >
> > Now suppose they decide to make money off the document, so they set up a
> > commerce site and charge for access to that document.
> >
> > Am I allowed to give my copy of the document, from when it was freely
> > available off the web, to somebody?
> >
> > Am I now obligated to delete the document off my hard drive?
> >
> > Pete
> Lawyers will making bundles of money off questions like this. I'm not
> a lawyer, however. The answer to the second question seems clear.
> If a publisher gave away free copies of a book, they couldn't demand them
> back because they ran short and now could sell them. And publishers do
> often give away free copies.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the two cents!   One of the reasons why I didn't think the 2nd
question was clear is because I have audio CD's that actually DO say
something to the effect of "this is a prerelease, and this CD must be
surrendered if we ask for it".

But then again, that can be considered a rudimentary license, whereas the
OpenGL tutorial didn't have anything like that.

> The first questions seems less certain. By the same analogy, if you gave your
> copy to a friend and deleted your own copy, that would be completely OK.
> If you keep your copy while giving a copy to a friend seems marginal. On the 
> other hand, if it is just for his/her personal use, I wouldn't worry about 
> it.
> Also, the publisher may well have added to the original when they made it
> a commercial product. Then you could argue that it is not the same
> document anyway.

Yeah, that's VERY true.  I'm kinda curious though.

I've actually read the US copyright bill, and it's very permissive when it
comes to academic and personal use.  The heavy restrictions come about via
DMCA statutes.  But the copyright bill itself (other than the insane amounts
of time a person can hold a copyright these days) isn't as bad as I thought
it would be.


The mathematics of physics has become ever more abstract, rather than more
complicated.  The mind of God appears to be abstract but not complicated.
He also appears to like group theory.  --  Tony Zee's "Fearful Symmetry"

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