[cc-community] public performance and GPL
rfontana at redhat.com
Tue Jan 10 21:23:49 EST 2012
On Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 08:53:48PM -0500, Anthony wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM, Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> wrote:
> > Public performance was not meant to be excluded from the bundle of
> > rights granted under GPLv3; I would say that the blanket permission to
> > "run" (FSF's fundamental "Freedom 0") was understood by those drafting
> > the license to include public display and public performance not
> > involving transfers of physical/digital copies, since with software
> > they would necessarily (at least ordinarily) involve the act of
> > executing the software. "Convey" is not meant to include public
> > performance that does not "enable other parties to make or receive
> > copies".
> Regarding the definition of "convey", I'd think that would include
> radio broadcasts.
I suppose that's justifiable but FWIW not what was intended by the
definition of 'convey' (which however was written only with software
> > So I would say that public performance of a GPLv3-licensed song is
> > analogous to non-'convey'ing execution of a program in which the
> > output of the program happens to be public. Therefore, the source code
> > requirements are not triggered.
> Even a public performance by means of a digital audio transmission?
> In your first paragraph you seem to exclude digital audio
> transmissions. But in this paragraph you seem to lay out a blanket
> statement for all public performances.
I wasn't thinking of public performance via digital audio
transmissions. You can limit my comments to the case of a human
singing a song in public physical place containing the human
> > I see no reason for a different conclusion under GPLv2. It says
> > "Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> > covered by this License; they are outside its scope." "Outside its
> > scope" is here, I think, understood by the FSF (and, I'd think, most
> > GPLv2 licensors) to mean "not limited as a matter of copyright
> > law".
> If that's what is meant, then it's wrong. Public performances and
> public displays *are* limited as a matter of copyright law. If the
> license doesn't cover them, then the default is that you have no
I believe both versions of the GPL do "cover" (despite what GPLv2
says) public performance and public display in the sense that the
licensor is effectively giving an unrestricted license to do those
activities (except to the extent that engaging in those activities
then secondarily triggers other provisions of the license). You can
reasonably argue that the licenses aren't drafted well in this regard.
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