[ntp:questions] poll interval - RFC compliance question

Unruh unruh-spam at physics.ubc.ca
Sun Jun 15 15:28:51 UTC 2008

jra at febo.com (John Ackermann N8UR) writes:

>David Woolley said the following on 06/14/2008 04:34 PM:

>> To the extent that copyright agreements are optional, their purpose is 
>> normally to give you a copy only on the condition that you do not 
>> exercise some of the rights that you would have if given the copy 
>> without making the agreement.
>> I suspect Open BSD's problem is that the statement of permission doesn't 
>> actually give all the rights that are restricted by copyright.  In 
>> particular, if it says "use", that has a technical meaning that doesn't 
>> include copying to give to others.

>Good point, David.  The US copyright law lists five exclusive rights

Except that Mills uses the words "use copy modify distribute" Now you could
argue tht "use" is inappropriate since nothing in copyright law gives him
any ability to restrict the use, but since he is giving blanket permission,
that is irrelevant. copy=copy, modify=create derivative work,
distribute=distribute. You might argue that use=perform publicly.

>that the copyright holder possesses.  "Use" isn't one of them, and that
>does make software copyright issues more interesting.  The five rights
>are the right to: copy, create derivative works, distribute, perform
>publicly (applies only to certain types of works), and to display
>publicly (also applies only to certain types of works).

>The reason that "use" normally works in the software context is that to
>make software function you almost always need to copy it (for example,
>from hard disk to RAM).  In some situations, "use" would also trigger
>the display right.  But it's also possible to conceive of a computing
>device with nonvolatile memory such that there is no copying involved in
>running the the software.  So, a right to "use" is inherently ambiguous
>from a copyright perspective.

Only if the license attempts to restrict the right to use. If it grants it,
it is irrelevant. It could also give you the right to breathe, and the fact
that copyright law cannot be used to restrict that right would be equally

>I believe (pretty strongly) that "use" would not normally be interpreted
>to include the right to distribute copies to third parties.  However,
>that right could be implied by the circumstances (if I publish my
>software on a web site and encourage downloads with no restrictions, it
>might well be that I've granted an implied license to those who download
>to further distribute.

>By the way -- relying on copyright notices drafted in the early '80s
>isn't necessarily a good idea.  At least in the US, there was still
>significant debate on whether software could even be copyrighted up
>until 1983, when Apple v. Franklin pretty much laid that to rest.
>Rights notices of the time were experimental, to say the least...


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