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Re: The GPL is unenforceable under U.S. copyright law

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: The GPL is unenforceable under U.S. copyright law
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 17:01:10 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

amicus_curious wrote:
When none of the elements of a lawsuit are attained, I call that a loss.

The purpose of the FSF is to promote software that users may
run, read, modify, and share. For a significant period of time
before the SFLC filed its suit, Verizon was distributing FiOS
routers with GPLed code in violation of the GPL. After the case
ended, Verizon is now complying with the GPL, and users of its
routers may run, read, modify, and share the software it contains.

On <>, the SFLC says that
    SFLC defends the integrity of FOSS licenses against both
    adverse judicial interpretation and legislative interference.
    SFLC accepts primary responsibility for enforcement of US
    copyrights and coordinates international copyright enforcement
    efforts of represented works as necessary. SFLC also assists
    clients and the general FOSS community in resolution of disputes
    relating to the use and development of FOSS.

They defend copyrights. They do that through the normal litigation
process, which always involves maxing maximalist claims. Their
defense of the copyrights has worked so far, and therefore they may
properly claim victory.

> Verizon thumbed their noses at the GPL and nothing happened to them.

Verizon now properly complies with the GPL, just as they are required
to do if they wish to distribute GPLed software. The Verizon-branded
contains a GPL section, and the router comes with a GPL software disk.
You may believe that this constitutes Verizon thumbing its nose, but
people who are not warped by their unreasoning dislike of the GPL
will have a rather different opinion.

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