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Re: Attorney fees

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Attorney fees
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 09:13:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

rjack <> writes:

> SFLC promoters wish too claim that the GPL is *legally* enforceable --
> nothing short of a court ruling will provide the *legal* answer.

Uh no: the GPL is most certainly not legally enforceable, and it says so

      9. Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.

      You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or
    run a copy of the Program.  Ancillary propagation of a covered work
    occurring solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission
    to receive a copy likewise does not require acceptance.  However,
    nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate
    or modify any covered work.  These actions infringe copyright if you
    do not accept this License.  Therefore, by modifying or propagating
    a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do

What _is_ legally enforceable, is copyright.  But it is pretty boring to
get a ruling on that, since there are so many of them already.

Defendant has to decide for one of two defenses: a) GPL does not apply
to me.  Then the case is not about the validity of the GPL, but about
default copyright provisions.  Or b) GPL applies to me.  Then the case
is about checking off whether the conditions are met.  Again, this is
not about the validity of the GPL as such but about specific terms of

And the cases we had up to now were so clearly lost on option b) that
there was no point for defendants not to settle.

> So why duck an opportunity for a court ruling time and time again with
> voluntary dismissals?

Because courts don't like to be employed unnecessarily?  If the
defendant comes into compliance and pays the plaintiffs costs, the court
has better business than sprinkling holy water on what has already been

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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