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Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 10:51:43 -0500

"Hyman Rosen" <> wrote in message news:uVDZk.17381$st1.3019@newsfe10.iad...
David Kastrup wrote:
Why? Then the software would not be redistributable

No, you don't understand. He thinks that any software that
has already been released under the GPL may be freely used
by anyone without restriction, because the permissions
granted by the GPL apply even though its restrictions don't.

It's as if he thinks he can go into a car dealership, listen
to the salesman say "you can take this car if you pay me
$35,000" and decide to observe the "you can take this car"
part but ignore the "if you pay me $35,000" part. In the
real world, this leads to unpleasant consequences, but the
real world has very little to do with his fever dreams.

In either case it would seem to be a violation of the contract terms. In your example, that is the only violation and when you do not pay the $35,000 you are in violation of the contract and subject to being sued for the amount agreed upon plus costs of collection which are clearly the damages that would be incurred by the dealer.

In the case of the GPL, it is not so clear. If it is the same thing, as you say, the suit would be for the damage caused to the original author due to the violator not publishing the source code. How much would that be? I think what the GPL proponents want to happen is that the violation is termed as a copyright violation and the violator denied the right to distribute. So far the cases described seem to have hinged on the violator not publishing the original source. I have not seen any case anywhere that the violator was explicitly said to have added some useful modification that the violator wanted to keep proprietary. These cases have been settled by the violator agreeing to publish that original source. The more recent cases seem to have a small cash payment for the plaintiff lawyers as well, but they have been settlements, not judgements.

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