Use of GPLed Python extension modules

Bengt Richter bokr at
Sun Nov 23 18:52:52 CET 2003

On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 23:40:09 -0500, Daniel Berlin <dberlin at> wrote:

>On Nov 22, 2003, at 5:33 PM, Rainer Deyke wrote:
>>  The FSF has no
>> legal right to restrict the distribution of any software unless that
>> software contains code which is copyrighted by the FSF.
>This is, of course, incorrect, unfortunately.
I see the DMCA effect, but other than such (what I'd call) restraints on trade
in tools-that-COULD-be-put-to-illegal-use, or patent infringement,
or possibly obscenity and such laws if there is public distribution,
what can prevent the distribution of an original program by itself?

>For example, the FSF could own the exclusive right to license some 
>piece of code.  Not saying that they do, but they could, and thus, even 
>without being the copyright owner, would have the right to enforce it's 
>Any of the rights granted by copyright can be licensed without having 
>to transfer the copyright itself.
What does that have to do with distributing separate software? It may
prevent the recipient from making legal use of it, but that is not the originator's
responsibility, so that should not be a basis for preventing the distribution,
unless you want to get into prohibition/preemptive-morality-enforcement legislation.
>I passed copyright law in law school, so i'm at least sure of this much.
>In addition, DMCA grants them the right to prevent distribution of 
>certain other types of code (code that circumvents effective access 
Overreaching IMO, and the wrong solution for a real problem.

Bengt Richter

More information about the Python-list mailing list