Re: Western musical symbols font

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Tue Sep 18 2007 - 04:52:21 CDT

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: Western musical symbols font"

    On 18 Sep 2007, at 10:31, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    >> The copyright holder has the distribution rights, but not the rights
    >> of the indivudal rights, as long as there is no clash.
    > Hmmmm... a licence is not equivalent to a commercial contract,
    > because its
    > document is not signed by the recipient. It's a form of unilateral
    > contract
    > from the licensor to the licencee.

    Well, we are speaking about a license revoking copyright law,
    specifically the ownership rights of individual copies (also see
    below). Normally, if a law should be revoked, there needs to be a law
    admitting it, otherwise the government would sort of not be in
    control. :-) Are you saying that by a unilateral license it is
    possible to revoke a persons ownership rights without the owner
    admits it? The link
    says that as far as private legal persons go, a proper license can at
    most limit the legal rights of the licenser, and it still seems
    necessary to be able to identify the licensee.

    Let's think about books. The WIPO treaty says that computer software
    is protected as literary works
    Books, you can read anywhere, resell anywhere, or do whatever you
    like, as long as you do not do make bootleg copies of essential parts
    and redistribute it. The licenses we speak about claim to
    unilaterally revoke those rights. That seems not possible.

    > Another difficulty is that the signed agreement is not collected
    > back by the
    > licensor that has then difficulty to prove that it was effectively
    > accepted
    > by the licensee.

    So this is the point I brought up: there must be an agreement by the
    licensee, and the licenser must be able to identify the licensee,
    because otherwise the one claimed to be a licensee by the licenser
    only needs to ask for proof of a license agreement. Same as with a
    contract. When you rent a car, I believe one has to sign a paper,
    which is collected back, just in order to ensure one has proof in
    court. It is the person that clicks the box or opens the package that
    makes the agreement, and the licenser must be able to identify that
    person. This is what a written contract is used for: it makes sure
    exactly what rights the licenser gives up, and also identifies the

    > And another problem is that the buyer is most often not
    > given a chance to review the license before the purchase,

    So this is the same as with contracts, simply because the licensee is
    expected to give ownership rights.

    So it seems me what are called "licenses" in the computer industry
    are not that in the limited sense of the licenser giving up rights,
    but actually contracts, where the licensee is asked giving up rights
    granted by copyright law.

    It is different with licenses regulating the redistribution of art
    work (such as software), because the copyright holder always controls
    that. What I am speaking about are licenses restricting copy
    ownership rights.

    > Note that some legislation make unbalanced contracts void, as if it
    > was
    > never signed and had never existed.

    This is the normal thing, I would think, and this is also what I
    indicated in my post. For example, it is normally legal to kill
    another person even if both agree to it. There must be a law,
    indicating that a particular law can be revoked, typically only in
    limited circumstances.

    > For these reasons, licenses are very
    > weak kinds of contracts, unless its content is made publicly
    > reviewable
    > before the purchase.

    If the user should give up ownership rights, I do not think it is
    sufficient that the licenser makes it public, because the licensee
    must agree to revoking those rights. The problem is that nowadays,
    copyright law automatically applies, unless revoked by special

       Hans Åberg

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