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

From: rjack
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 07:43:24 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

Tim Smith wrote:
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).

The SFLC will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow a district court to review the terms of their preempted, unenforceable GPL license on the merits. The fat revenue stream from charitable funds flowing into SFLC's attorneys' pockets would suddenly cease if their one of their crackpot complaints was ever reviewed by the court.


-- The hardest part of fleecing a sucker is convincing him to express his gratitude for getting screwed --

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