[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "first time violators, don't worry"

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "first time violators, don't worry"
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 13:05:06 +0100

RMS in Tokyo reporting to "stupid japanese" (including IBM's Trusted
Computing Group folk from Tokyo Research Lab filing for "software
patents" almost every day like there won't be tomorrow)...

Another important minor change has to do with termination when someone
violates the licence. A GNU/Linux distribution today involves thousands
of programs, and anyone who accidentally violates the licence, for
instance, puts the wrong source code up, has, under GPL version 2,
terminated his licences for everything. At that point, he has to go to
all the copyright holders, and ask for permission to start distributing
again, but that's basically impossible. You could never find all those
developers, especially those who contributed fifteen years ago.

What we've decided to do is, that if you stop your violation, then any
given copyright holder has 60 days from that point to complain. This is
a kind of statute of limitations. As long as you're continuing to
violate the licence, any copyright holder is entitled to notify you
you're violating the licence and once he notifies you he has the right
to terminate the licence. But, if you stop violating, then the copyright
holders have only 60 more days to notify you, and if they don't notify
you and sixty days go by with no violations, then you're safe.

This means that if you accidentally violate the licence and you fix it,
probably nobody's going to complain to you and 60 days will go by and
you'll be ok. Or if a few copyright holders complain to you, then you
just have to negotiate with them, and say "Hey, look, it was an
accident, I fixed it already and you see I'm trying to do the right
thing, and will you please give me my distribution rights back", and
they'll almost certainly say yes.

We're considering a further change in this direction that would say that
a violation can cure itself if you're a first time violator and you
correct your practices and a certain period of time goes by. We have to
be careful in this though, because it's very important for GPL
enforcement that the developer be able to get a preliminary injunction
to stop distribution. So we're carefully studying the conditions for
doing so in various countries, and if we can put in such a cure feature
in a way that does not harm GPL enforcement then we will probably do so. 


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]