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Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record

From: rjack
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2007 11:30:54 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20071031)

David Kastrup wrote:
Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

David Kastrup wrote:
So what reasons do you assume for the many GPL cases that get settled
out of court for defendants with big pockets and plaintiffs with small
The notion of suing people to force them to publish original or even modified source with no commercial value is rather pointless from defendants perspective, since the source is so readily available from others.

Pointless?  If they win in court, they have to pay neither court nor
lawyer costs.  And if the publishing is no big deal, why would they need
to get sued before bothering about compliance?

And so defendants simply don't bother to fight and prefer to settle
agreeing to provide one more mirror.

They could have done that before they started paying lawyers.

If, on the other hand, Moglen & Co ever dares to sue (based on his
utterly insane "complete source code" and "derived work" theories)
forcing to GPL the code with some not insignificant commercial value,

Uh, like code for commercially viable routers?

the GPL'd code base will end up in quasi public domain rather quickly.

Well, chalk that one off to your remarkably consistent track of wrong
predictions.  It only somewhat suffers from being wrong in _hindsight_

>> the GPL'd code base will end up in quasi public domain rather
>> quickly.

The GPL'd code is already quasi public domain.

The distribution under sec. 2(b) defines a class of intended third party donee beneficiaries:

b) 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.

The "all third parties" defines a class of intended third party donee beneficiaries which include all who are *not* the original licensing

The right to rescind or modify a third party beneficiary contract, without the assent of the beneficiary, ceases once the contract is accepted, adopted or acted upon by the third party. The rights of the third party "vest" when he learns of the initial contract and assents to it or materially changes his position in justifiable reliance on it or brings suit on it. (Rest.2d ยง 311(3).)

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