paulkoning at comcast.net
Thu Feb 9 10:26:18 CST 2017
> On Feb 9, 2017, at 11:16 AM, Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9 February 2017 at 18:06, geneb <geneb at deltasoft.com> wrote:
>> If you don't (at least) have the official distribution media, then
>> TECHNICALLY you'd be violating the copyright. Otherwise, it's nonsense.
> AIUI -- and IANAL -- this is correct, yes.
Copying without permission of the copyright owner would be a copyright violation. Some licenses permit wide copying (open source). And of course software might be in the public domain (no copyright) -- that's rare but it does happen.
> The issue here is not running the software, it's _owning_ the
> software. This sometimes ties in to ownership of the vendor's hardware
> it was intended to run on.
Yes... the question now shifts to the software license rather than the copyright.
> Apple is slightly different -- the licence for Mac OS X stipulates
> that you're only allowed to run it on Apple-branded hardware. This is
> somewhere between rare and unique, though, and it has recently been
> relaxed slightly to permit use of hypervisors.
Unusual in the personal computer era, yes.
> But otherwise, so long as you own the software or a licence thereto,
> you can run it on whatever you want, in most cases.
Not for pre-PC software. Look at DEC licenses, for example. They are for running the software on DEC systems. Quite often, on specific models. Quite possibly, only on the particular machine you had when you purchased the license. Sometimes (for example, IBM mainframes) the license is for a limited time (a year, perhaps) rather than perpetual. If you sell the hardware, the software license may be tranferable to the new hardware owner, or it may not be.
The reality is that licenses can say many different things, and have over the decades. Trying to extrapolate from PC software practice will give you misleading answers because those practices are comparatively recent. The right answer is: read the license.
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