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Re: German-GPL victorious in Frankfurt district court

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: German-GPL victorious in Frankfurt district court
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 20:15:25 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>> Alexander Terekhov <> writes:
>> > David Kastrup wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Alexander Terekhov <> writes:
>> >>
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > Man oh man. This is fun.
>> >> >
>> >> > Hero Welte gets around 3K EURO and D-Link must tell him from
>> >> > whom and how many routers they've bought (I'm pretty sure that
>> >> > the stuff came from Taiwan) and subsequently resold. The rest
>> >> > of the case was dismissed.
>> >>
>> >> Uh, Alexander?  Reality check.  The court decided to use a lower
>> >> key
>> >
>> > Check it yourself, dak. The phrase "the rest of the case was
>> > dismissed" corresponds to "In √úbrigen wird die Klage abgewiesen."
>> Yup.  And the only "rest" was the key for the damages.
> That's your interpretation. I'd have to see all filings to agree or
> disagree with it. If you have access and can provide this
> information, I'd appreciate it greatly.

Uh, you can just read the judgment text.  They state the claims.

>> > which appears after impositions (impostion of award and imposition
>> > of obligation to provide information).
>> D-Link had to pay awards (calculated slightly differently) and had to
>> provide the requested information, and had to pay the whole legal and
>> court costs.  
> That "whole legal and court costs" is just standard European loser-
> pays rule and just not worth mentioning.

It is worth mentioning in this context because you keep forgetting who
the loser is.

>>              Really, according to your foaming at the mouth, one
>> would imagine they have won something.
> In my view, they indeed have won something. C'mon dak, less than 10K
> (or some such) in total for utterly absurd judgment...

The court can't award more damages than have been claimed.  Welte
asked for something like 3.1K and got something like 2.9K.  He did not
have to ask for relief since D-Link had already come into compliance.
He also required getting information about the number of distributed
units, and got granted that as well.

> and it appears that the GPL just can't do any better (that was the
> second try in another district court): GNUtians should begin to
> worry. No?

Worry?  I don't see about what.  This case was not about forcing
D-Link to comply with the GPL (they were smart enough to comply of
their own accord once presented with the findings of Welte), but for
making them pay for the costs associated with material, legal and work
costs of analyzing their previous non-compliance, and have them hand
over information about the distributed non-compliant copies.

Everything was granted (though the calculation of the total amount was
slightly corrected by the court) and the total cost was laid on the
_loser_ of the case.

It really takes a _lot_ of fantasy to say this should worry anybody in
favor of the GPL's validity.


David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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