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Re: "News" Verizon calls SFLC bluff

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: "News" Verizon calls SFLC bluff
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 12:33:22 +0100


This is priceless:

"GNU General Public License considered very strong, still not challenged
in court You sometimes hear people trying to dismiss the GNU General
Public License, the most popular of the Free/Libre and Open Source
Software (FLOSS) licenses, as being unenforceable. While there is a long
list of companies that have been alleged to infringe the license, none
of these companies seem to agree this license is unenforceable and opt
to settle out of court rather than challenge the license.

The latest case involves Verizone. Verizon distributes BusyBox to its
customers in devices that are provided to Verizon by Actiontec
Electronics, Inc. In December the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC)
filed a lawsuit on behalf of BusyBox against Verizone alleging
infringement of the GPL. Only a few months later they are announcing
that the BusyBox Developers Agree To End GPL Lawsuit Against Verizon.

Please remember this fact when you hear people trying to dismiss the GPL
as unenforceable. Some very large and successful companies have been
accused of infringing the GPL, and they have all opted to comply with
the license rather than challenge it. I believe they companies
understand how enforceable the GPL is, and recognize they could not win
against it in court."

"Could not win against it in court"

Confirmed in Docket:

"NOTICE OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL: ... plaintiffs Erik Andersen and Rob
Landley hereby dismiss this action against defendant Verizon
Communications Inc. *WITH PREJUDICE*"

"opted to comply with the license"
(Still no word about the GPL and/or source code on that web page of 

"Please also remember these cases when you hear someone claim that FLOSS
is “giving away” software. Clearly there are obligations when
distributing FLOSS, and that if you don’t live up to these obligations
you will be challenged in court. Enforcing the terms of a FLOSS license
is easier to enforce than the often partly unenforceable terms of a
non-FLOSS EULA, this means you are more likely to get caught than
infringing a non-FLOSS EULA. This is because the obligations created by
FLOSS licenses largely only create obligations on distributors and
fellow software developers, not simple end users of the software."




rjack wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > " . . . Again, though, since the boxes involved are Actiontec's, they
> > chose to take responsibility for remedying both their own and Verizon's
> > past violations and ensuring compliance in the future."
> Since the dismissal was with PREJUDICE future litigation is forever
> foreclosed.
> This is my favorite part of the spin, "... ensuring compliance in the
> future."
> In the future Verizon and Actiontec can distribute the BusyBox code any
> way they wish since plaintiffs Andersen and Landley can't do a damn
> thing about it. . . BECAUSE THEY LOST THEIR CASE . . .
> "A voluntary dismissal with prejudice operates as a final adjudication
> on the merits and has a res judicata effect." Harrison v. Edison Bros.
> Apparel Stores, Inc., 924 F.2d 530, 534 (4th Cir. 1991).
> Sincerely,
> Rjack
> --- "Standing doctrine embraces several judicially self-imposed limits
> on the exercise of federal jurisdiction, such as the general prohibition
> on a litigant's raising another person's legal rights, . . ."; ALLEN v.
> WRIGHT 468 U.S. 737, 751 (1984) ---

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