[free-sklyarov] Copyright as a restriction

Stephen R. Savitzky steve at theStarport.org
Fri Aug 24 21:22:39 PDT 2001

Jeme A Brelin <jeme at brelin.net> writes:

> On 24 Aug 2001, Stephen R. Savitzky wrote:
> > Jeme A Brelin <jeme at brelin.net> writes:
> > > Don't LICENSE your work.  Sell it, and you'll get exactly that and nothing
> > > more or less.
> > 
> > IANAL, but I seem to remember that, strictly speaking, what one sells
> > is the physical medium and not the copy.
> No, you sell copies.  Microsoft claims that they're selling the physical
> medium, but that the copy is licensed... and that's just so much mumbo
> jumbo to restrict your obvious rights.

You're probably right.  As you say,

>  First sale clearly shows that you  buy a copy.
> > What a publisher buys from an author, for example, IS called a
> > license.
> A publisher doesn't BUY from the author, under normal circumstances.
> A license isn't something you buy and sell.  It's a contract.  The
> contract between an author and his publisher is called a license.  This is
> a transfer of rights.

OK, the publisher pays a fee and obtains a contract granting (not
necessarily transferring, unless the publisher gets *exclusive* rights)
some rights.  Whether one calls this a sale or something else is
probably academic.

> Actually, I'm pretty sure you don't need a formal license to confer some
> of your exclusive rights reserved via copyright back to the public.

It may not be formal, but I think it's still a kind of license.  

> In commercial software, the publisher forces the user to give up some of
> his non-exclusive rights of use of a work purchased and the publisher
> doesn't have to give up anything at all.
> You just want to reverse that.  You can do so with a statement that isn't
> a license.
> Something to the following tune:
> I hereby allow the general public to make non-commercial use of my words
> and music and share such use with their friends and community.  This
> statement is not intended to relinquish any exclusive rights retained by
> me, the author, with regard to commercial or mass distribution of more
> than 100 copies.
> Something like that.
> But I'm not a lawyer, either.

Something like that, indeed. 

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