l i n u x - u s e r s - g r o u p - o f - d a v i s
Next Meeting:
July 7: Social gathering
Next Installfest:
Latest News:
Jun. 14: June LUGOD meeting cancelled
Page last updated:
2005 Jan 24 13:35

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

Report this post as spam:

(Enter your email address)
Re: [vox-tech] Copyright and license
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [vox-tech] Copyright and license

Quoting Peter Jay Salzman (p@dirac.org):

> 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.

This implies the right to download, read, and do the normal sorts of
things one does with a document -- but not to redistribute or
create/distribute derivative works.

Note:  That copyright notice has been a NOOP since adoption of the Berne
Convention on Copyrights, which among other things makes copyright title
vest automatically in the creator of any covered creative work, at the
moment it's put in "fixed form".  (Arguably, a copyright notice tends to 
remove people's assertion of ignorance, and is a good idea on general
grounds, but it no longer has legal effect, otherwise.  Prior to Berne,
it was possible to lose copyright title by distributing instances
without notices.  No longer.)

> 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?

That would be redistribution, which is one of the rights reserved to the
copyright owner by default.  So, you'd be committing technical copyright

> Am I now obligated to delete the document off my hard drive?

I can't see why you would be.

What the owner has done is issue a second _instance_ of the work with 
different terms, i.e., the obligation to pay for access to it.  You
already pulled down your copy of the earlier instance, which was under a
slightly difference licensing regime.

But, per your hypothetical, neither instance came with a grant of the
right to redistribute, so recipients may not lawfully do that.

vox-tech mailing list

LUGOD Group on LinkedIn
Sign up for LUGOD event announcements
Your email address:
LUGOD Group on Facebook
'Like' LUGOD on Facebook:

Hosting provided by:
Sunset Systems
Sunset Systems offers preconfigured Linux systems, remote system administration and custom software development.

LUGOD: Linux Users' Group of Davis
PO Box 2082, Davis, CA 95617
Contact Us

LUGOD is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization
based in Davis, California
and serving the Sacramento area.
"Linux" is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Sponsored in part by:
EDGE Tech Corp.
For donating some give-aways for our meetings.