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Linux Programming: Software Licenses and Traditional Copyright Law

Jul 07, 2000, 13:47 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tony Stanco)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"Since the 1980 computer-software amendments to the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright has been the chief way to control software rights. Generally, that control extends to both binary and source code."

"Although people sometimes refer to selling or buying software, these terms are generally incorrect. Usually, software is not sold, except in the case where it is part of the sale of the assets of a company. More commonly, software is licensed to users. (Richard Stallman states, however, that free software really is sold [or given] to people.)"

"A license is the permission or authority to do something granted by someone who has the right to allow that thing. With software, copyright law automatically attaches rights upon the development of the software. As such, the software developer automatically becomes the owner of certain copyright rights in the software."

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