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Letter to Brein

This is a quick'n'dirty translation of the Dutch original letter to the Dutch copyright watchdog Brein. The original Dutch text is the authentic version of this text.
Version 1.2.4-en, February 16 2006.

Dear sir, madam,

We write to you regarding several errors we found in the content of your site and in your brochure Piracy in the workplace.

At page 11 of your brochure ("What is allowed, and what is not") you write "It is not allowed to create a copy of a computer game or other software; not even for your own private use". A similar broad statement can be read on your web site in the F.A.Q. section "Am I allowed to make copues of my computer games and other software".

These statements are incorrect, or at least too broad. A large number of software programs are distributed by their copyright owners under a license that grants users the right to make and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the softwares. An important group of copyright owners that do this are the authors of so-called open source software.

The signers of this letter are all developers of open source software or organisations (companies, non-profit foundations) who have a (financial) interest in this kind of software. In your brochure and on your web site you suggest that there exists a categorical prohibition against copying of software. With this statement you obstruct the legimitate goals of these copyright owners and their organisations to develop software and distribute it as free software.

Signers are against the illegal copying of software. We therefore stress the distrinction between software that may be copied freely, and software that, due to a licensing restrictions, may not be copied. It is of the highest importance that users and customers are correctly informed about this important distinction.

We therefore request that you update your brochure and web site to the effect that the relevant paragraphs reflect the existing distinction between free (open source) and non-free software. We can always assist you in finding a correct and public-friendly description of this complicated subject matter.