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Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record

Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 17:01:14 -0500
User-agent: slrn/ (Debian)

On 2008-07-22, Rahul Dhesi <> wrote:
> thufir <> writes:
>>> I guess that the plaintiffs decided that having the manufacturer of the
>>> routers comply with the GPL was good enough for them, because it would
>>> be difficult to explain in court that Verizon was not complying with the
>>> GPL given this availability. But that's just a guess.
>>If it's an action tek router, sold to an importer exporter, and then to 
>>another middleman, and then to a retailer, to whom do you go for the 
>>source code?  presumably, just action tek.
> I think you folks are assuming that the GPL somehow gives you, the buyer of 
> the
> router, the right to get source code from somewhere. I don't think it does.

THAT is EXACTLY what the GPL provides for.

Any binary that is a derivative of any GPL work cannot be distributed
without also providing the source along with that binary. The sort of
hardware we're talking about right now is precisely the sort of hardware
that gave RMS trouble to begin with.

It is EXACTLY THIS SITUATION that the GPL was crafted to deal with.

> All is does is require everybody distributing the router to others to also 
> give
> recipients the source code, which is not quite the same thing as giving you 
> the
> right to demand it.
> So where would you get the source code? From anywhere where it's available.

No. Whomever distributes the software is on the hook for providing the source.

You can force people to walk the chain all the way back to the manufacturer,
but they are still ultimately on the hook for using someone elses work without
proper authorization.

        Sophocles wants his cut.                                |||
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