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www/philosophy enforcing-gpl.html


From: Yavor Doganov
Subject: www/philosophy enforcing-gpl.html
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2007 19:43:52 +0000

CVSROOT:        /web/www
Module name:    www
Changes by:     Yavor Doganov <yavor>   07/04/09 19:43:52

Modified files:
        philosophy     : enforcing-gpl.html 

Log message:
        * Templated.
        * Added link to the Indonesian translation.

CVSWeb URLs:
http://web.cvs.savannah.gnu.org/viewcvs/www/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html?cvsroot=www&r1=1.15&r2=1.16

Patches:
Index: enforcing-gpl.html
===================================================================
RCS file: /web/www/www/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html,v
retrieving revision 1.15
retrieving revision 1.16
diff -u -b -r1.15 -r1.16
--- enforcing-gpl.html  23 Aug 2005 07:56:12 -0000      1.15
+++ enforcing-gpl.html  9 Apr 2007 19:43:34 -0000       1.16
@@ -1,47 +1,28 @@
-<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
-<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
-    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd";>
-<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"; xml:lang="en">
-
-<head>
+<!--#include virtual="/server/header.html" -->
 <title>Enforcing the GNU GPL - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation 
(FSF)</title>
-<meta http-equiv="content-type" content='text/html; charset=utf-8' />
-<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/gnu.css" />
-<link rev="made" href="mailto:address@hidden"; />
+
 <meta http-equiv="Keywords" content="GNU, FSF, Free Software Foundation, 
Linux, violation, general, public, license, gpl, general public license, 
enforcing, freedom, software, Eben, Moglen, Eben Moglen" />
 <meta http-equiv="Description" content="In his essay, Enforcing the GNU GPL, 
Eben Moglen, legal counsel to the FSF, talks about how enforcement of the GNU 
General Public License is typically carried out." />
-</head>
-
-<!-- This document is in XML, and xhtml 1.0 -->
-<!-- Please make sure to properly nest your tags -->
-<!-- and ensure that your final document validates -->
-<!-- consistent with W3C xhtml 1.0 and CSS standards -->
-<!-- See validator.w3.org -->
-
-<body>
-
-<p><a href="#translations">Translations</a> of this page</p>
-
+<!--#include virtual="/server/banner.html" -->
 <h2>Enforcing the GNU GPL</h2>
+
 <p>
 by <a href="http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/";><strong>Eben
 Moglen</strong></a></p>
 <p><em>10 September 2001</em></p>
 
 <p>
-<a href="http://www.gnu.org/graphics/philosophicalgnu.html";>
-<img src="/graphics/philosophical-gnu-sm.jpg" alt=" [image of a Philosophical 
Gnu] " width="160" height="200" /></a>
+Microsoft's anti-GPL offensive this summer has sparked renewed
+speculation about whether the GPL is &ldquo;enforceable.&rdquo; This
+particular example of &ldquo;FUD&rdquo; (fear, uncertainty and doubt)
+is always a little amusing to me.  I'm the only lawyer on earth who
+can say this, I suppose, but it makes me wonder what everyone's
+wondering about: Enforcing the <a href="/licenses/gpl.html">GPL</a> is
+something that I do all the time.
 </p>
 
 <p>
-Microsoft's anti-GPL offensive this summer has sparked renewed speculation
-about whether the GPL is ``enforceable.''  This particular example of
-``FUD'' (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is always a little amusing to me.
-I'm the only lawyer on earth who can say this, I suppose, but it makes me
-wonder what everyone's wondering about: Enforcing the <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html";>GPL</a> is something that I do all 
the time.
-</p>
-<p>
-Because <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html";>free software</a> 
is an
+Because <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a> is an
 unorthodox concept in contemporary society, people tend to assume that
 such an atypical goal must be pursued using unusually ingenious, and
 therefore fragile, legal machinery.  But the assumption is faulty.  The
@@ -55,29 +36,35 @@
 everything else possible, is a very robust machine precisely because it is
 made of the simplest working parts.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 The essence of copyright law, like other systems of property rules, is the
 power to exclude.  The copyright holder is legally empowered to exclude
 all others from copying, distributing, and making derivative works.
 </p>
+
 <p>
-This right to exclude implies an equally large power to license--that is,
-to grant permission to do what would otherwise be forbidden.  Licenses are
-not contracts: the work's user is obliged to remain within the bounds of
-the license not because she voluntarily promised, but because she doesn't
-have any right to act at all except as the license permits.
+This right to exclude implies an equally large power to
+license&mdash;that is, to grant permission to do what would otherwise
+be forbidden.  Licenses are not contracts: the work's user is obliged
+to remain within the bounds of the license not because she voluntarily
+promised, but because she doesn't have any right to act at all except
+as the license permits.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 But most proprietary software companies want more power than copyright
-alone gives them.  These companies say their software is ``licensed'' to
-consumers, but the license contains obligations that copyright law knows
-nothing about.  Software you're not allowed to understand, for example,
-often requires you to agree not to decompile it.  Copyright law doesn't
-prohibit decompilation, the prohibition is just a contract term you agree
-to as a condition of getting the software when you buy the product under
-shrink wrap in a store, or accept a ``clickwrap license'' on line.
-Copyright is just leverage for taking even more away from users.
+alone gives them.  These companies say their software is
+&ldquo;licensed&rdquo; to consumers, but the license contains
+obligations that copyright law knows nothing about.  Software you're
+not allowed to understand, for example, often requires you to agree
+not to decompile it.  Copyright law doesn't prohibit decompilation,
+the prohibition is just a contract term you agree to as a condition of
+getting the software when you buy the product under shrink wrap in a
+store, or accept a &ldquo;clickwrap license&rdquo; on line.  Copyright
+is just leverage for taking even more away from users.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 The GPL, on the other hand, subtracts from copyright rather than adding to
 it.  The license doesn't have to be complicated, because we try to control
@@ -91,12 +78,14 @@
 enforceable: every license involved in every single copyright lawsuit is
 more restrictive than the GPL.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 Because there's nothing complex or controversial about the license's
 substantive provisions, I have never even seen a serious argument that the
 GPL exceeds a licensor's powers.  But it is sometimes said that the GPL
-can't be enforced because users haven't ``accepted'' it.
+can't be enforced because users haven't &ldquo;accepted&rdquo; it.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 This claim is based on a misunderstanding.  The license does not require
 anyone to accept it in order to acquire, install, use, inspect, or even
@@ -114,11 +103,13 @@
 GPL.  After all, the GPL requires each copy of covered software to include
 the license text, so everyone is fully informed.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 Despite the FUD, as a copyright license the GPL is absolutely solid.
 That's why I've been able to enforce it dozens of times over nearly ten
 years, without ever going to court.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 Meanwhile, much murmuring has been going on in recent months to the
 supposed effect that the absence of judicial enforcement, in US or other
@@ -129,17 +120,21 @@
 find ourselves taking the GPL to court because no one has yet been willing
 to risk contesting it with us there.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 So what happens when the GPL is violated?  With software for which the
-Free Software Foundation holds the copyright (either because we wrote the
-programs in the first place, or because free software authors have
-assigned us the copyright, in order to take advantage of our expertise in
-protecting their software's freedom), <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html";>the first step is a 
report</a>,
-usually received by email to <a 
href="mailto:address@hidden";>&lt;address@hidden&gt;</a>.
-<a href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-violation.html";>We ask the reporters 
of violations
-to help us establish necessary facts</a>, and then we conduct whatever
-further investigation is required.
+Free Software Foundation holds the copyright (either because we wrote
+the programs in the first place, or because free software authors have
+assigned us the copyright, in order to take advantage of our expertise
+in protecting their software's
+freedom), <a href="/licenses/gpl-violation.html">the first step is a
+report</a>, usually received by email
+to <a href="mailto:address@hidden";>&lt;address@hidden&gt;</a>.
+<a href="/licenses/gpl-violation.html">We ask the reporters of
+violations to help us establish necessary facts</a>, and then we
+conduct whatever further investigation is required.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 We reach this stage dozens of times a year.  A quiet initial contact is
 usually sufficient to resolve the problem.  Parties thought they were
@@ -154,6 +149,7 @@
 would make subsequent judicial enforcement simple and rapid in the event
 of future violation.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 In approximately a decade of enforcing the GPL, I have never insisted on
 payment of damages to the Foundation for violation of the license, and I
@@ -163,6 +159,7 @@
 it easy for violators to comply, and we have offered oblivion with respect
 to past faults.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 In the early years of the free software movement, this was probably the
 only strategy available.  Expensive and burdensome litigation might have
@@ -172,37 +169,42 @@
 however, we persisted in our approach to license enforcement not because
 we had to, but because it worked.  An entire industry grew up around free
 software, all of whose participants understood the overwhelming importance
-of the GPL--no one wanted to be seen as the villain who stole free
+of the GPL&mdash;no one wanted to be seen as the villain who stole free
 software, and no one wanted to be the customer, business partner, or even
 employee of such a bad actor.  Faced with a choice between compliance
 without publicity or a campaign of bad publicity and a litigation battle
 they could not win, violators chose not to play it the hard way.
 </p>
+
 <p>
-We have even, once or twice, faced enterprises which, under US copyright
-law, were engaged in deliberate, criminal copyright infringement: taking
-the source code of GPL'd software, recompiling it with an attempt to
-conceal its origin, and offering it for sale as a proprietary product.  I
-have assisted free software developers other than the FSF to deal with
-such problems, which we have resolved--since the criminal infringer would
-not voluntarily desist and, in the cases I have in mind, legal
-technicalities prevented actual criminal prosecution of the violators--by
-talking to redistributors and potential customers.  ``Why would you want
-to pay serious money,'' we have asked, ``for software that infringes our
-license and will bog you down in complex legal problems, when you can have
-the real thing for free?''  Customers have never failed to see the
-pertinence of the question.  The stealing of free software is one place
-where, indeed, crime doesn't pay.
+We have even, once or twice, faced enterprises which, under US
+copyright law, were engaged in deliberate, criminal copyright
+infringement: taking the source code of GPL'd software, recompiling it
+with an attempt to conceal its origin, and offering it for sale as a
+proprietary product.  I have assisted free software developers other
+than the FSF to deal with such problems, which we have
+resolved&mdash;since the criminal infringer would not voluntarily
+desist and, in the cases I have in mind, legal technicalities
+prevented actual criminal prosecution of the violators&mdash;by
+talking to redistributors and potential customers.  &ldquo;Why would
+you want to pay serious money,&rdquo; we have asked, &ldquo;for
+software that infringes our license and will bog you down in complex
+legal problems, when you can have the real thing for free?&rdquo;
+Customers have never failed to see the pertinence of the question.
+The stealing of free software is one place where, indeed, crime
+doesn't pay.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 But perhaps we have succeeded too well.  If I had used the courts to
-enforce the GPL years ago, Microsoft's whispering would now be falling on
-deaf ears.  Just this month I have been working on a couple of moderately
-sticky situations.  ``Look,'' I say, ``at how many people all over the
-world are pressuring me to enforce the GPL in court, just to prove I can.
-I really need to make an example of someone.  Would you like to
-volunteer?''
+enforce the GPL years ago, Microsoft's whispering would now be falling
+on deaf ears.  Just this month I have been working on a couple of
+moderately sticky situations.  &ldquo;Look,&rdquo; I say, &ldquo;at
+how many people all over the world are pressuring me to enforce the
+GPL in court, just to prove I can.  I really need to make an example
+of someone.  Would you like to volunteer?&rdquo;
 </p>
+
 <p>
 Someday someone will.  But that someone's customers are going to go
 elsewhere, talented technologists who don't want their own reputations
@@ -213,6 +215,7 @@
 point.  Free software matters because it turns out that the different way
 is the right way after all.
 </p>
+
 <p>
 <cite>
 Eben Moglen is professor of law and legal history at Columbia University
@@ -220,63 +223,16 @@
 Foundation.
 </cite>
 </p>
-<p>
-Copyright &copy; 2001 Eben Moglen
-</p>
-<p>
-Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in
-any medium, provided this notice is preserved.</p>
 
-<hr />
-<h4><a href="/philosophy/philosophy.html">Other Texts to Read</a></h4>
-<hr />
-
-<!-- All pages on the GNU web server should have the section about    -->
-<!-- verbatim copying.  Please do NOT remove this without talking     -->
-<!-- with the webmasters first. --> 
-<!-- Please make sure the copyright date is consistent with the document -->
-<!-- and that it is like this "2001, 2002" not this "2001-2002." -->
-
-<div class="translations">
-<p><a id="translations"></a>
-<b>Translations of this page</b>:<br />
-
-<!-- Please keep this list alphabetical, and in the original -->
-<!-- language if possible, otherwise default to English -->
-<!-- If you do not have it English, please comment what the -->
-<!-- English is.  If you add a new language here, please -->
-<!-- advise address@hidden and add it to -->
-<!--    - in /home/www/bin/nightly-vars either TAGSLANG or WEBLANG -->
-<!--    - in /home/www/html/server/standards/README.translations.html -->
-<!--      one of the lists under the section "Translations Underway" -->
-<!--    - if there is a translation team, you also have to add an alias -->
-<!--      to mail.gnu.org:/com/mailer/aliases -->
-<!-- Please also check you have the 2 letter language code right versus -->
-<!--     http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/ert/iso639.htm -->
-[
-  <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.cs.html";>&#x010c;esky</a>     
  <!-- Czech -->
-| <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.de.html";>Deutsch</a>    
<!-- German -->
-| <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html";>English</a>
-| <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.fr.html";>Fran&#x00e7;ais</a>  
  <!-- French -->
-| <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.it.html";>Italiano</a>   
<!-- Italian -->
-| <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.ko.html";>&#xd55c;&#xad6d;&#xc5b4;</a>
   <!-- Korean -->
-| <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.hu.html";>Magyar</a>     
<!-- Hungarian -->
-| <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.pl.html";>Polski</a>     
<!-- Polish -->
-| <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.pt.html";>Portugu&#x0ea;s</a>  
  <!-- Portuguese -->
-| <a 
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.ru.html";>&#1056;&#1091;&#1089;&#1089;&#1082;&#1080;&#1081;</a>
 <!-- Russian -->
-]
-</p>
 </div>
 
-<div class="copyright">
-<p>
-Return to the <a href="/home.html">GNU Project home page</a>.
-</p>
+<!--#include virtual="/server/footer.html" -->
+<div id="footer">
 
 <p>
 Please send FSF &amp; GNU inquiries to 
 <a href="mailto:address@hidden";><em>address@hidden</em></a>.
-There are also <a href="/home.html#ContactInfo">other ways to contact</a> 
+There are also <a href="/contact/">other ways to contact</a> 
 the FSF.
 <br />
 Please send broken links and other corrections (or suggestions) to
@@ -285,18 +241,67 @@
 
 <p>
 Please see the 
-<a href="/server/standards/README.translations.html">Translations
+<a href="/server/standards/README.translations">Translations
 README</a> for information on coordinating and submitting
 translations of this article.
 </p>
 
 <p>
+Copyright &copy; 2001 Eben Moglen
+</p>
+<p>
+Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in
+any medium, provided this notice is preserved.</p>
+
+<p>
 Updated:
 <!-- timestamp start -->
-$Date: 2005/08/23 07:56:12 $ $Author: wkotwica $
+$Date: 2007/04/09 19:43:34 $
 <!-- timestamp end -->
 </p>
 </div>
 
+<div id="translations">
+<h4>Translations of this page</h4>
+
+<!-- Please keep this list alphabetical. -->
+<!-- Comment what the language is for each type, i.e. de is Deutsch.-->
+<!-- If you add a new language here, please -->
+<!-- advise address@hidden and add it to -->
+<!--  - /home/www/bin/nightly-vars either TAGSLANG or WEBLANG -->
+<!--  - /home/www/html/server/standards/README.translations.html -->
+<!--  - one of the lists under the section "Translations Underway" -->
+<!--  - if there is a translation team, you also have to add an alias -->
+<!--  to mail.gnu.org:/com/mailer/aliases -->
+<!-- Please also check you have the 2 letter language code right versus -->
+<!-- <URL:http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/ert/iso639.htm> -->
+<!-- Please use W3C normative character entities -->
+
+<ul class="translations-list">
+<!-- Czech -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.cs.html">&#x010c;esky</a>&nbsp;[cs]</li>
+<!-- German -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.de.html">Deutsch</a>&nbsp;[de]</li>
+<!-- English -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html">English</a>&nbsp;[en]</li>
+<!-- French -->
+<li><a 
href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.fr.html">Fran&#x00e7;ais</a>&nbsp;[fr]</li>
+<!-- Hungarian -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.hu.html">Magyar</a>&nbsp;[hu]</li>
+<!-- Indonesian -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.id.html">Bahasa 
Indonesia</a>&nbsp;[id]</li>
+<!-- Italian -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.it.html">Italiano</a>&nbsp;[it]</li>
+<!-- Korean -->
+<li><a 
href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.ko.html">&#xd55c;&#xad6d;&#xc5b4;</a>&nbsp;[ko]</li>
+<!-- Polish -->
+<li><a href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.pl.html">Polski</a>&nbsp;[pl]</li>
+<!-- Portuguese -->
+<li><a 
href="/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.pt.html">Portugu&#x0ea;s</a>&nbsp;[pt]</li>
+<!-- Russian -->
+<li><a 
href="/enforcing-gpl.ru.html">&#1056;&#1091;&#1089;&#1089;&#1082;&#1080;&#1081;</a>&nbsp;[ru]</li>
+</ul>
+</div>
+</div>
 </body>
 </html>




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