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Re: Free Software Logo -> Where does FSF go?

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Free Software Logo -> Where does FSF go?
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:49:57 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/+ (1036f0e) (2020-10-18)

* mray <> [2020-10-30 13:07]:
> On 30.10.20 10:14, al3xu5 / dotcommon wrote:
> > Thu, 29 Oct 2020 09:26:17 -0700 - Aaron Wolf <>:
> > 
> >> [...] The FSF is not opposed
> >> to legal enforcement of trademarks and copyrights (copylefts in this
> >> case).
> > 
> > Sorry but I am very amazed to hear this statement.
> > 
> > I believed that the ethical spirit that originated GNU and GPL (copyleft),
> > and that is the basis of the FSF, was exactly that of opposing trademarks,
> > copyrights and patents. 
> > 
> > […]
> I think it was just pointed out that technically copyleft *applies*
> copyright, and in case of a GPL violation gets enforced sometimes. Afaik
> compliance is almost always the desirable outcome, but in certain cases
> I doubt the FSF would shy away, exactly because of its principles.

GPL legal  enforcement is  almost non-existent.  There are  more cases
outside of the US then in US, if any.

FSF position is here:


Our  primary   goal  in  GPL   enforcement  is  to  bring   about  GPL
compliance. Copyleft's overarching  policy goal is to  make respect of
users' freedoms the norm. The FSF  designed the GNU GPL's text towards
this end. Copyleft enforcement done in this spirit focuses on stopping
incorrect  distribution,   encouraging  corrected   distribution,  and
addressing  damage  done  to  the  community and  users  by  the  past
violation. Addressing past damage often includes steps to notify those
who have  already received the software  how they can also  obtain its
source code,  and to  explain the  scope of  their related  rights. No
other ancillary  goals should supersede  full compliance with  the GPL
and  respect   for  users'  freedoms   to  copy,  share,   modify  and
redistribute the software.

Legal  action  is a  last  resort.  Compliance actions  are  primarily
education and assistance processes to  aid those who are not following
the  license.  Most  GPL  violations occur  by  mistake,  without  ill
will. Copyleft enforcement should  assist these distributors to become
helpful  participants in  the  free software  projects  on which  they
rely. Occasionally, violations are intentional or the result of severe
negligence, and there is no duty to be empathetic in those cases. Even
then, a lawsuit  is a last resort; mutually agreed  terms that fix (or
at least cease)  further distribution and address  damage already done
are much better than a battle in court.

/// end of quote ///

Please let us not mistake the GNU and FSF position on GPL enforcements
with other companies, such as Google:

I think  that statement by  Google sounds  threatening. But it  is not
statement by FSF.

Private website and opinion on GPL enforcement:

Statement by third party organization:

Statement by Eben Moglen, GNU website, from 2001:


"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  have  rarely  required public  admission  of  wrongdoing.  Our
position  has  always  been  that compliance  with  the  license,  and
security for  future good behavior,  are the most important  goals. We
have done everything  to make it easy for violators  to comply, and we
have offered oblivion with respect to past faults."

>From Software Freedom:

Private website for GPL denouncing:

Software Conservancy:

Their new strategy:



Our new initiative features:

- Litigation  to  enforce  against   license  violators  that  do  not
  voluntarily comply in a timely manner
- Coordinating  the development  of alternative  firmware for  devices
  where none currently exists
- Collaborating   with  other   organizations   to  promote   copyleft
  compliance as a  feature for consumers to protect  their privacy and
  get more out of their devices
We can observe that there are various groups that act by different set
of principles in contrast to what is established by FSF. So far I
know, FSF has not changed its positions.


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