[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Copyright Misuse Doctrine in Apple v. Psystar
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 23:37:40 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <> wrote:
> "David Kastrup" <> wrote in message 
> 851vtr64ch.fsf@lola.goethe.zz">news:851vtr64ch.fsf@lola.goethe.zz...
>> "amicus_curious" <> writes:

>>> "David Kastrup" <> wrote:
>>>> "amicus_curious" <> writes:

> Well that subject line was long ago.  What I am saying is the the SFLC
> and its client BusyBox are just wasting the world's time.  Perhaps
> they have a legal right to do that, but it is still nonsense and at
> the end of the day they will be remembered as being egotistical fools
> who just wasted the people's time.

You could make the same sort of argument about any "petty" peccadillo.
Why bother prosecuting a fare dodger for a 2 Euro fare?  Seems a bit
disproportionate, doesn't it?

[ .... ]

> I am saying, instead, that the filing of a lawsuit can only make the
> logical users of FOSS pause and consider whether or not they want to
> risk using a FOSS program or library when clowns like BusyBox are out
> in the wild preying on those who might make a misstep.

:-)  Honestly, how much effort, really, does it take for a company, no
matter how small, to understand the GPL (any version) and comply with it?
It's straightforward enough that you barely even need to consult a
lawyer.  You need to put a tarball of your source code up on your
company's website.  Half a day's work to read the GPL, understand it,
create the tarball and put it on the site.

And if, somehow, you manage to get even that wrong, you can put it right
on receiving that dreaded letter from the SFLC, or from the copyright

> That is only accruing to Moglen and his cronies at the SFLC.  They get
> their attorney's fees paid by the victim.  That is the way the RIAA
> works, too, holding up the huge cost of a litigation, if lost, over the
> head of their prey who can escape by paying a few thousand bucks to the
> shysters instead. Few fight when the penalties and rewards are so
> lopsided.

I believe the RIAA doesn't give their victims the opportunity to put
right, at minimal cost, what the RIAA claims is wrong.  The SFLC,
however, does.

>>> No one takes apart complex applications in order to change them,
>>> there is no value in having all those restrictions as posed by the
>>> GPL.

People do change complex GPL'd applications.  So do companies.

>> So where do the lawsuits come from if nobody actually makes use of the
>> software in question?

> From the guys who have the GPL copyright, of course.  That is only
> BusyBox, it seems.  For example in the Actiontec suit there were about
> 20 GPL source packages eventually listed on the Actiontec website, but
> they were only sued for the BusyBox stuff.  The old idea that Sallman
> had about those who received software downstream needing to understand
> it so that they could modify it is rather passe'.  If OpenOffice or
> Linux doesn't work exactly the way I want, I am not going to fool
> around re-writing the damn thing.

That's fair enough.  It's probably outside your capabilities anyhow.

> No one does that.

False.  I have modified Linux, if only peripherally.  I have modified
several other FOSS programs slightly, and enhanced one large GPL program

> They just complain to the manufacturer and maybe their needs are taken
> care of in a subsequent release, maybe not.  Who can afford to learn 
> enough about Linux or OO or any other big program to the point where
> they can effectively make modifications?

Me.  David Kastrup, too.

> Stallman is living in the 70s or worse.

Yet, somehow, the GPL remains the most popular license, by an
overwhelming margin.  If your notions on the GPL were accurate, it would
by now have dwindled to unimportance and been superseded by a BSD
license, or whatever.  There're no signs of that happening.

Why do you think the GPL governs so many programs, and other free and
open-source licenses so few?

>>> The actions of the SDLC prove that it is only viable as a way to
>>> harass those who might want to take advantage of FOSS.  With that kind
>>> of trouble, the users will be fewer than otherwise.

Have you compared the sort of "hassle" a user might get from SDLC with
what he might get on violating some other type of license, say a
proprietary one from Microsoft, or Oracle, or some other major software

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]