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Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar


From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 01:32:23 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird 2.0.0.19 (Windows/20081209)

amicus_curious wrote:
"Hyman Rosen" <address@hidden> wrote
The basic answer is that making the source available is a
requirement of the license.
But not for Verizon anymore?

Verizon ships routers manufactured by Actiontec, which makes
the source available on its web page. Verizon also provides a
link on one of its own web pages where firmware upgrades can
be downloaded. That URL contains the string "actiontec gateway",
which leads me to assume that the Verizon webserver fetches the
software from Actiontec. It's difficult to know whether Verizon
incurs a GPL obligation when this is done.

The people best positioned to know this are the rights holders,
since they initiated a suit and thereby gained the ability to
talk with Verizon. They appear to be satisfied with Actiontec
providing the source, so they may have concluded that Verizon
does not incur a GPL obligation through their URL.

Opponents of the GPL would like to believe that Verizon is
deliberately flouting the GPL, but there is no evidence that
this is true.

What did they really "win", though?

Compliance with the GPL - people who get Actiontec routers can now
run, read, modify, and share the software it comes with.

The source code for BusyBox is already available from BusyBox

Were Actiontec not to comply with the GPL, users would not know
that there was any such software as BusyBox on their router.

if you are interested in using it, you would not get your copy
> second or third hand.  What ActionTec is publishing is the original,
> unmodified BusyBox, and an old version from 2006 at that.

For users to be able to run, read, modify, and share software on
devices, they must begin with the exact version of the software
which is installed on the device. The GPL empowers them to do this.

That hardly helps FOSS along.

The purpose of the GPL is to guarantee users the right to run, read,
modify, and share programs they receive. The crafters of the GPL do
not care about "FOSS" or being helpful to its proponents.


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