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

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 19:02:17 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080421)

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. 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.

The GPL is a purported third party donee beneficiary contract:

  b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

The seller of the router, when he distributes it to a buyer purportedly
promises to license the code to "all third parties". The irony is that
the GPL specifically excludes the *parties* to the contract (the
distributors) since the class "all third parties" does not include the
contracting parties.

The "parties" to the GPL contract have no legal right to complain about
all third parties not receiving the code. Legal standing doctrine
clearly states that a plaintiff in a lawsuit cannot claim injuries
suffered by "all third parties".

So where would you get the source code? From anywhere where it's available.

Rjack :)

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