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Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 17:49:58 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081105)

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
"For non-commercial use, Artifex licences Ghostscript to the public
free of charge under the GNU GPL."

This is not an actual explanatory paragraph. Again, if you
wish to make coherent, cogent posts, you should begin by
describing your point rather than requiring that readers
attempt to figure out what you are trying to say.

Doing a bit of research at <>,
we see that Artifex dual-licenses Ghostscript under the GPL and
under what they call a commercial license. The text above comes
from a complaint that Artifex has filed against Diebold, claiming
that Diebold is violating Artifex's copyright on Ghostscript.

Now, a complaint may say anything at all. Artifex's statement is
not how licensing under the GPL is properly understood, but there
is nothing that can be done to prevent them from saying whatever
they want.

Diebold will presumably offer up a variety of defenses in its court
papers, and things will go on from there. First of all, is Diebold
honoring the terms of the GPL for standalone Ghostscript? If not,
then they are certainly in violation. If they do, then they might
argue that the rest of the software they distribute does not fall
under the GPL, perhaps claiming that Ghostscript is not a part of
it, and that it's distributed as a "mere aggregation". Then we'll
have the usual back and forth filings, and probably the two sides
will settle.

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