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SFLC files 2nd intimidation suit

From: rjack
Subject: SFLC files 2nd intimidation suit
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:04:22 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20071031)

The SFLC has filed an infringement suit captioned “ERIK ANDERSEN, an individual, and ROB LANDLEY, an individual v. HIGH-GAIN ANTENNAS, L.L.C.”

The SFLC alleged in the complaint in part:

"8. Under the License, Plaintiffs grant certain permissions to other parties to copy, modify and redistribute BusyBox so long as those parties satisfy certain conditions. In particular, Section 2(b) of the License, addressing each licensee, states:

You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License. . .

15. Upon information and belief, on August 5, 2006, Defendants were notified by a third party of the relevant terms of the GPL and Defendant’s infringement thereof. This notification was provided via an e-mail requesting the complete and corresponding source code of the GPL-licensed software on an Infringing Product."

The designated donee beneficiaries of the GPL are obviously "all third parties". Clearly the plaintiffs are "parties" to the GPL contract and cannot be a member of the class "all third parties." Therefore the plaintiffs can suffer no injury by the source code not being made available to "all third parties".

The Supreme Court in 1975 ruled:

"Apart from this minimum constitutional mandate, this Court has recognized other limits on the class of persons who may invoke the courts' decisional and remedial powers. First, the Court has held that when the asserted harm is a "generalized grievance" shared in substantially equal measure by all or a large class of citizens, that harm alone normally does not warrant exercise of jurisdiction. Second, even when the plaintiff has alleged injury sufficient to meet the "case or controversy" requirement, this Court has held that the plaintiff generally must assert his own legal rights and interests, and cannot rest his claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties." Warth v. Seldin 422 U.S. 490 (1975)

The only people with legal "standing" to complain about a violation of the GPL are the third party donee beneficiaries.


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