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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 08:11:33 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

JEDIDIAH <jedi@nomad.mishnet> writes:

> 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.

Yes, but it is not a right of the buyer, but a right of the copyright
owner that this happens.  So the buyer can't sue, he can just notify the
copyright owner.  If the copyright owner can't be bothered, the buyer is
pretty much out of options.

That is the reason that the FSF wants copyright assignments to
contributions for important GNU software.

>> 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.

Quite so.  But the line to the hook is held by the author, not the

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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