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Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivative distros"
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 22:14:55 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Karen Hill wrote:
>> "I think, of the 500 distributions tracked by DistroWatch, probably 450
>> of them are in trouble right now per this position.", 
> Criminal penalties (costs plus attorney's fees in a civil action aside for 
> a moment), per FSF's own theory of enforcement through cause of action for 
> copyright infringement (not breach of contract claim),

Sigh.  We are talking about a _license_ here.  Copyright infringement
comes into play only when the defendant denies the license being

> that results in
>   statutory_damages = 
>      court_considers_just("not less than $750 or more than $30,000") *
>        number_of("any one work") /* in Guh-NÜ-slash-Linux */ * 450;
> Eldorado!!!

For whom?  A "criminal penalty" is not handed over to a prospective
plaintiff in a contract case.

Anyway, if distributors don't read the GPL, my sympathy is limited.
Any distributor worth his salt distributes source CDs.  That's the
reason all free software package formats also have a corresponding
source package format.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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