[Pmwiki-users] [ANN] A new release of FormTemplateSystem is available

Johnfeezell@3wplace.com Johnfeezell
Mon Dec 8 11:44:33 CST 2003

Here's another two cents.

>From my perspective and understanding of the copyright law (it parallels 
Patrick's below) coupled with my release for those running PmWiki as 
administrators, individuals should be legally able to made modifications to 
the FTS code for their own personal usage.  In all likelihood, the phrase "as 
is without modifications" would not withstand legal testing.  

I will consider a different copyright once I'm sure that the basic structure 
of the code is sound.


Quoting "Patrick R. Michaud" <pmichaud at pobox.com>:

> My contribution and comments...
> IANAL, but I don't  that it's possible for a copyright to
> absolutely prevent someone from modifying a work such as the FTS under
> "all circumstances", at least under U.S. copyright law.  U.S.
> copyright law grants the copyright holder six rights:
>   1. reproduction of copies of the work
>   2. preparation of derivative works
>   3. distribution of copies to the public
>   4. public performance of the work
>   5. public display of the work
>   6. public performance of audio digital recordings
> Of these, the first three have the most impact on software--they are the
> rights to copy, modify, and distribute a program.
> However, copyright law is also restricted by a number of "fair use"
> provisions; in particular, there is a concept of "personal fair use"
> which says that the owner of a particular copy of a work (as opposed
> to the holder of the copyright) can make copies of a work and modify
> the copy of work for private use--i.e., those uses that don't
> infringe the marketing and distribution rights of the copyright
> holder.
> Indeed, 17 U.S.C. 117 explicitly limits copyrights on computer
> programs, and 117(1)(a) says that it is not an infringement of
> copyright to make adaptations of a computer program if it's an
> essential step in the utilization of the program in conjunction with a
> machine (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/117.html).  So, if I
> have a program on my computer, I can modify/adapt it for my own personal
> use.  Now then, redistributing the adapted version or modifications to
> others *would* be an infringement of the copyright holder's reproduction
> and distribution rights and is not permitted, but simply modifying a
> program for private use is protected under various exclusions and fair use.
> Again, I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice, and I've probably
> missed a few fine points and distinctions here and there.  But I do
> know that copyright protection does not grant a copyright holder
> absolute control over the use of legally acquired copies of a work.
> Pm
> On Monday, December 8, 2003, 9:13:16 AM, you wrote:
> > On Mon, Dec 08, 2003 at 12:46:14PM +0100, Carlo Strozzi wrote:
> >> On Sun, Dec 07, 2003 at 09:46:53PM -0600, John Feezell wrote:
> >> > Carlo, thanks for the note.
> >> > 
> >> > For the present I want to keep a tight control over code development.
> >> > After I am sure that the code is very stable and does what I desire for
> >> > the FTS, I'll consider other copyright options.
> > Hmm. Just butting in here ... "other copyright options" isn't
> > applicable. It's how you allow your copyrighted work to be used that's
> > the problem. The code is still copyright to you (John) unless you assign
> > it to someone else. Just like PmWiki is copyright Patrick Michaud. And
> > do you think that Patrick doesn't have tight control over code
> > development? I think several people on this list can attest to just how
> > tightly Patrick controls pmwiki development.
> > my Cents $two;
> > -Scott
> > P.S.  BTW, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html for all sorts of
> >       info about the GPL.
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