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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: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 23:16:12 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

thufir <> writes:

> On Wed, 23 Jul 2008 20:45:15 +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
>>> I don't see why their participation is required, it's between the buyer
>>> and the manufacturer.
>> No.  The buyer has no rights derived from copyright law since he is not
>> the copyright owner.
> The buyer is the guy who walks in off the street and purchases the router 
> (which run GPL'ed software)?
> To my understanding, the buyer does have the right, under the GPL, to
> the source.

No.  The copyright owner has the right to demand that the buyer gets the
source.  The buyer does not have this right.

If I pay at a merry-go-round for a ride of my child, the child does not
get the right to demand a ride.  _I_ get the right to demand that it
gets a ride.

> After, the GPL is targeted, you could say, at buyers to protect
> copyright owners.

The GPL is targeted at _effectively_ providing the buyers of software
with certain rights.  But it has to go via the copyright holder:

"Your honor, software buyers should have the right to..."  "Richard, try
to be coherent.  You can't use "software buyers" and "right" in the same
sentence in that way."  "Your honor, as a software author I should have
the right to..." "Granted.  I just _love_ how right those words sound."

>> Yes, but it is not the customer who can enforce this.  The
>> manufacturer has an obligation to the copyright owner to make the
>> source available to his customers.
> That seems backwards in that, for example, the copyright holder might
> be dead, and lets say has no heirs and no will.

Tough.  Get your copy before it is too late.

For example, there are people who take GPLed software, extend it, and
rerelease under the GPL in order to follow their obligations, but don't
give shit about the GPL or adherence to it regarding their own software.
Now if someone lifts only their contribution from the GPL-licensed
software and sells you proprietary binaries without the source, you are
screwed.  _You_ are not in a position to demand source, and the
copyright owner, the _only_ one to make demands, can't be bothered.  If
you can't get him interested to take this up, you are plain out of
options.  Because you are the software buyer.  See above.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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