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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?


From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 09:29:07 -0400


"Rahul Dhesi" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden
David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

Rjack <address@hidden> writes:

I *do* know of five plaintiff suits filed by the SFLC for copyright
infringement under the GPL that have been defeated. I know that you
want to count running scared "voluntary dismissals" as "victories" but
reasonable people know better.

A so-called defeat would imply that the source remains closed since that
was the objective of the law suit...

Rjack did a subtle change-of-subject here. We were talking about Rjack's
claim essentially that the GPL is invalid according to Rjack's numerous
useless out-of-context quotes, some without citations, and almost all
without public links. I assume he doesn't provide public links because
he prefers that we not read the cases from which he gets his quotes.

I stated that no plaintiff has ever defeated the GPL.

Rjack could not find a plaintiff that had. Rather than admitting this,
Rjack tried to confuse the issue by implying that if a voluntary
dismissal occurs, that means a plaintiff has defeated the GPL.  Rjack
knows perfectly well that that is not the case.  To defeat the GPL, a
plaintiff would actually have to win, not just get a voluntary dismissal
and a settlement.



Hasn't happened yet. Unlikely to happen, given the CAFC'S ruling in the
JMRI case.
--
It seems to me that what has not happened yet is any ruling in the quintessential part of the GPL, i.e. forcing disclosure of some enhancement made by someone to a GPL'd program. The only effect of the SFLC actions has been to force a downstream user to re-publish the original source that was used in the defendant's product. That is a rather empty sort of "victory" and would seem to be an inexpensive way to settle any of these suits. The suits have merit, I think, even as a contract issue and regardless of the copyright claims, but they have no effect other than to nettle the user of OSS products. That seems contrary to the original purpose of OSS although it does meet the needs of the cultists who surround Stallman.


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