osOpinion: Fair Use and the Fallacy of GNU
Sep 10, 2001, 21:34 (33 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by TechnoJoe)
"Contrary to popular belief, Richard Stallman is
actually one of the world's biggest advocates of copyright laws.
Without copyright laws to enforce the GNU General Public License
(GPL) or any other license for that matter, all open source code
would be in the public domain, free for the taking.
Section Five of the GNU GPL says, "You are not required to
accept this License ... However, nothing else grants you permission
to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works." Well,
not quite, Rich.
The copyright laws include the doctrine of "fair use," which
overcomes the exclusivity rights and other restrictions placed on
copyrighted material and gives people the right to use copyrighted
works without permission, even when permission is explicitly
denied. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 114 S.Ct. 1164
Fair use may not seem fair to the author whose work is taken,
but it is fair to society as a whole."