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Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- "A telling admission" by AaronWillia

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- "A telling admission" by AaronWilliamson (AW1337)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:21:58 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080213)

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
None of those mirrors of out-dated busybox and other GPL'd source code
that nobody really cares about comply with the FSF/SFLC view on
"complete corresponding source code" regarding "Infringing Products"
being made available by defendants.

It is false that "nobody really cares about" the source code
for these GPLed products; the copyright holders care, which
is why they are bringing suit.

The source code has to correspond to the binaries being
distributed; if the binaries are of out-dated versions then
the sources must be for those out-dated versions. Since these
are the versions present on the router, a user of the software
who wanted to run, examine, modify, and distribute them would
want to start with those versions, and that is why the GPL
requires that the source for those versions be made available.

The "complete corresponding source code" has to build into
an installable binary. You say that defendants do not comply.
In what way?

Furthermore, SFLC had to dismiss WITH PREJUDICE (Verizon must
> have threatened sanctions unless they dismiss their moronic
> complaint WITH PREJUDICE) without Verizon making any source code
> available in spite of making available GPL'd binary code for
> downloading FROM ITS OWN HOST (without any browser redirection).

As I said, you cannot know simply by looking at a URL what the
web server is doing. The web server parses the entire URL and
it may certainly decide to base its actions on a piece of it,
and fetch data from some arbitrary location and serve it. It is
suggestive that the URL contains "actiontec gateway" within it,
but we can't really know.

We do know that for most of 2007 neither Actiontec nor Verizon
was in compliance, and that after the suit ended, GPLed source
code for the FIOS router firmaware is available from Actiontec.
Presumably this satisfies the copyright holders sufficiently that
they no longer care to pursue further action against Verizon.

You infer that SFLC "had to" dismiss the case and that they were
"threatened" by Verizon, but I don't see why anyone else should
subscribe to this interpretation.

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