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

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 18:40:34 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <g6at7s$u6d$>, (Rahul Dhesi) wrote:
> The SFLC says it differently. Their GPL enforcement always seeks some
> sort of penalty for the offender that goes far beyond simply making GPL
> sources available. Otherwise future defendants would have no incentive
> to not violate the GPL in the first place.

Note that if the settlement is secret, it doesn't provide very much 
incentive.  So, it seems unlikely that the SFLC would want to keep 
settlements secret.

How about the defendants?  Haven't many of them been public companies?  
A large settlement would show up in their public financial records, so 
isn't going to stay secret for long.  Thus, I doubt they are going to 
worry too much about keeping it secret from the start.

Thus, I suspect that the settlements are for little or no cash.  
Plaintiff may talk about large potential damages (statutory damages for 
bad faith infringement could get rather staggering rather fast...) to 
make the defendant come to their senses, but I don't think anyone would 
agree to that in settlement.

(I'm assuming statutory damages would be available, because I'm assuming 
the copyrights have been registered.  I can't find that registration, 
but I don't claim to be a good copyright registration searcher.  I 
assume they have been registered, because if not, every defendant so far 
would have filed an answer to the complaint pointing that out, and the 
court would have immediately dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  The 
first time, the court would have been amused at the plaintiff 
overlooking such a basic thing.  But aren't they filling subsequent 
suits in the same court?  The court is not going to be amused the second 
time the same plaintiff brings forth essentially the same case with the 
same flaw.  We'd be seeing sanctions by now, probably.  Thus, I infer 
that the copyrights must be registered).
--Tim Smith

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