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Re: SFLC stipulated dismissal of Comtrend without any settlement

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: SFLC stipulated dismissal of Comtrend without any settlement
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:13:01 -0000
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Hi, Rex,

In gnu.misc.discuss Rex Ballard <> wrote:
> On Apr 7, 1:13?pm, Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:
>> And no costs against SFLC. Ha, ha.

>> "04/06/2010 103 ?STIPULATION OF DISMISSAL: Plaintiffs Software Freedom
>> Conservancy, Inc. and Erik Andersen and Defendant Comtrend Corporation
>> hereby stipulate to dismiss defendant Comtrend Corporation from this
>> action WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and without costs to any party. Plaintiffs
>> maintain this action against all other defendants. (Signed by Judge
>> Shira A. Scheindlin on 4/6/2010) (tro) (Entered: 04/07/2010) "


>> regards,
>> alexander.

> This doesn't mean they "lost", in fact, it means they "won".  Keep in
> mind that although the lawsuit typically allows the plaintiff to sue
> for the entire maximum penalty related to copyright law violation, the
> SFLC is actually only requesting that the defendants comply with the
> original terms of the copyright license.  Most of the time, when a
> lawsuit is filed, the lawyers find out what it would take to make it go
> away, and when they are told that all it will take is a link on a web
> page they already have, a 1 line change, and they will be in
> compliance, the CEO or other key decision maker is usually pretty
> willing to "make it so".

> On the other hand, if a defendant's lawyers are telling that client
> that the copyright license may not be valid, or that there is some
> defense and that they shouldn't have to comply with the copyright until
> the Judge rules that the license itself is valid, this means more costs
> to both sides, and the stakes go up.

> Most of the time, the most ethical lawyers just tell the client to meet
> the license requirements and publish the link to the source.

> Remember, they ONLY have to publish the GNU source code, and any code
> compiled into the GPL source. If they use driver modules and standard
> modprobe tools, they probably don't have to publish any of their own
> code.  If they call the Linux kernel by calling the glibc shared
> library, they won't have to publish their application code.  In effect,
> they only have to publish the minimal code, and what they do have to
> publish wouldn't be sufficient to create a competitor device.

> On the flip side, several companies who HAVE published their source
> code have found that Linux and OSS developers are quite eager to take
> on the challenge of making a router do lots of very interesting things.
> For example, a WiFi or Router with a USB port can be programmed to
> support a USB hub, so that the router can also be the SAN storage
> controller for up to 6 hard drives.  Netgear came up with a WiFi hub
> that had 4 ethernet ports and 2 USB ports.  The Linux community
> published patches that let the device work with 2 hubs, giving it 8
> drives pretty easily, and they provided a web driven iptables
> interface, making each ethernet port a separate sub-net.  The
> "internet" interface was still a NAT, but the other ports could be set
> up for various levels of security.

> This is one of the reasons why IBM became a big fan of Open Source and
> Linux.  They found out that when they contributed just a little, they
> got a huge return very quickly.  As one IBM commercial put it "we get
> back 4 times what we invest - within 6 months" (IIRC - Memory is fuzzy
> here).

Thanks for this contribution!  As you've discovered, there are some
despicably rude and vulgar posters on this mailing list, whose aim
appears to be to drive out intelligent and pleasant discussion.  Sorry
you had to run straight into them.

> Rex Ballard

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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