Suppose entity X offers some software (maybe for free, maybe for a price) bundled with some terms of service. Suppose person Y (after paying any relevant price) installs the software following X's instructions. Suppose Y then breaches the terms of service. Has Y then infringed copyright (assuming it is not considered fair use)?
This answer presents the following argument:
- Installing the software constituted making a copy of it.
- This copy was only authorized by X on the condition that Y complies with the terms of service.
- This condition was not met, so the copy was not authorized, so it infringed copyright.
This surprised me since I imagined (maybe incorrectly, IANAL) copyright infringement to be a more serious issue than ToS violation. This article also seems to contradict the above:
However, if a company violates a license by, for example, failing to purchase additional licenses through the publisher, instead of through an otherwise authorized reseller, then the violation could form the basis of a breach-of-contract claim, but not a copyright claim – none of the exclusive rights would be affected by failure to follow specified payment or transaction terms.