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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:05:11 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

amicus_curious wrote:
The test would be where an infringing vendor is ordered by the court to either disclose the changes made to the GPL source or cease distributing the program entirely. I would also be interested in any case where the infringer was ordered to pay statutory damages.

Relatively few companies are interested in becoming martyrs
to try to destroy the GPL. The JMRI case is about the closest
that I can think of in that respect. Most cases of GPL violations
happen through laziness and stupidity. Those violators generally
agree to come into compliance. So you might have to wait a long
time before you find a case where the GPL is addressed definitively.

What you do have industry-wide are companies and individuals
behaving as if the GPL works in the way it means to. Even companies
like Microsoft who are presumably hostile to its goals act as if it
is valid. They carefully write their own licenses to make sure that
their code doesn't get tangled up with GPLed code. If a case does
finally get into the courts in the way you envision, that existence
proof will help support the GPL.

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