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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 17:20:09 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"amicus_curious" <> writes:

> "Hyman Rosen" <> wrote in message
> news:uVDZk.17381$st1.3019@newsfe10.iad...
>> David Kastrup wrote:
>>> Why? Then the software would not be redistributable
>> No, you don't understand. He thinks that any software that
>> has already been released under the GPL may be freely used
>> by anyone without restriction, because the permissions
>> granted by the GPL apply even though its restrictions don't.
>> It's as if he thinks he can go into a car dealership, listen
>> to the salesman say "you can take this car if you pay me
>> $35,000" and decide to observe the "you can take this car"
>> part but ignore the "if you pay me $35,000" part. In the
>> real world, this leads to unpleasant consequences, but the
>> real world has very little to do with his fever dreams.
> In either case it would seem to be a violation of the contract terms.

The GPL is not a contract but a license.  It spells the conditions you
have to meet.

> In your example, that is the only violation and when you do not pay
> the $35,000 you are in violation of the contract and subject to being
> sued for the amount

Or other obligations.

> agreed upon plus costs of collection which are clearly the damages
> that would be incurred by the dealer.
> In the case of the GPL, it is not so clear.  If it is the same thing,
> as you say, the suit would be for the damage caused to the original
> author due to the violator not publishing the source code.

Uh no.  Damages are in addition to coming into compliance.

> How much would that be?  I think what the GPL proponents want to
> happen is that the violation is termed as a copyright violation and
> the violator denied the right to distribute.

Since the GPL is a license, not a contract, it remains solely the
violator's choice whether he wants to claim being in violence of the
license terms (making use of the license) or in violation of copyright
law (not making use of the license).

> The more recent cases seem to have a small cash payment for the
> plaintiff lawyers as well, but they have been settlements, not
> judgements.

Well, once the violator realises he has no leg to stand on, why would he
not want to settle?

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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