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Re: Licensing question about the BSD

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Licensing question about the BSD
Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2005 00:35:11 +0200

Isaac wrote:
> ><URL:>
> ><URL:>
> >
> These cases really do not appear to be on point 

These cases are not really "cases" to begin with (that's apart from fact 
that orders were limited to netfilter/iptables code only, and said 
absolutely nothing about larger combined work as a whole). Einstweilige 
Verfuegung (ex parte action) != Hauptverfahren (law suit).


It's a Small Welte After All 

Across the wide ocean, other enforcement of the GPL runs along a 
different trail. Harald Welte, a self-appointed enforcer of the GPL 
who operates a GPL Web site filed two actions with the District Court 
of Munich to enforce the license. In both cases, Welte was the author 
of code that had appeared in the defendant's product. The court 
granted Welte an injunction against Sitecom Deutschland GmbH, 
prohibiting Sitecom from distributing a wireless networking router 
until it complied with the GPL.


Well, the injunction was about "netfilter/iptables code" and nothing
else. No word about the router.


Sitecom appealed the injunction, but lost, 


Sitecom's objection (not really "appeal") to the injunction had really 
nothing to do with the GPL. And the subsequent ruling by the same
district court "discussing" the GPL (as presented by Welte's attorney)
was so bizarre that nobody over here in his right mind believes that it 
could have withstand the scrutiny of Hauptverfahren, real appeals aside 
for a moment.


and Sitecom later posted the terms of the GPL on its FAQ Web page for 
the router. Welte also filed for an injunction against Fortinet UK Ltd. 
based on its firewall products, with similar results.

Though much has been made of these two cases, there are reasons why 
Welte has already obtained injunctions in Germany while the FSF has 
not yet sought one in the US. Injunctive enforcement in Germany is so 
simple and quick that it makes Americans suspicious about piddling 
legal details like legal due process. In Germany, a preliminary 
injunction can be obtained ex parte -- in other words, without giving 
the defendant the chance to defend itself. (This has the 
appropriately scary sounding name einstweilige Verfuegung.) 


See also:


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