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GPL violations and DMCA enforcements on Github

From: Jean Louis
Subject: GPL violations and DMCA enforcements on Github
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 11:24:01 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/+ (1036f0e) (2020-10-18)

As of today there are 76 GPL related DMCA issues on Github:

Sometimes authors take proprietary code and publish it as GPL

Sometimes GPL software is changed to other licenses.

Sometimes software is published without giving proper contributions.

Sometimes authors license under GPL not knowing what GPL means, then
they complain for distribution.

Sometimes DMCA notices are issued with pretence. Et cetera.

There are serious legal threats under copyright laws for those who do
not take care of licensing.

This again shows that the paper work demanded by FSF and GNU project
protects both projects from potential legal liabilities in the
future. One should appreciate the peaceful use of free software as
distributed by GNU and FSF for that reason.

Examples when author disputes his GPL software being used in other
projects (not taken down):


MapDaemon(henceforth referred to as `The Work') was provided to a GPL based 
codebase to be used in that GPL based codebase as a build tool with the author 
knowing the codebase was GPL, knowing The Work would be bundled within this 
codebase and subject to the GPL.

As such The Work is licensed for our use under the GPL as a build
tool/script, and byond that, as a peice of a combined GPL work, and
their moment to object to such licensing was before they provided The
Work to a codebase they knew was GPL.

Example of complaint because of one single line of code:


Copyright: 1996-2004, Markus Franz Xaver Johannes Oberhumer License: GPL-2+

There was no single line from this library in my repository as far as my code 
is dynamically linked to this open sourced library.

It is very likely that this single line of my code cannot be
copyrighted at all. There is a merger doctrine: some ideas can be
expressed intelligibly only in one or a limited number of ways. In
such cases the expression merges with the idea and is therefore not

Example of distributing binaries without compliance to GPL:


The best solution for the copyright infringement that I see would be
the release of the source code for the prores_amcdx encoder under a
compatible license, only the second best solution would be to remove
the binaries. Making the repository private would not be a solution
afaict, as that would mean some people could still download the
copyright-infringing binaries.

Example of stripping authorship:


It came to our attention that a company using the name SUSY
Technologies rehosts a lot of our code in its Github organisation, SUSY Technologies stripped Parity
Technologies' copyrights and authorship from our code, publicly
available under GPL-3.0 in our organisation, Very few changes (if any) have been made
to the said repositories, and we believe that such behavior is a clear
violation of our GPL-3.0 license, sections 5a and 7b in particular.

Example of inclusion of GPL incompatible code:


The AGPLv3 requires the affected source code to only reference and use
AGPLv3 compatible code. The affected project contains references to
the API of "Unturned", a proprietary game. These GPL incompatible
references violate my copyright.

Example of including proprietary code, bundling with GPL and making it

Example when proprietary non-free Emacs manual is published on Github
and taken down:


Please provide a detailed description of the original copyrighted work that has 
allegedly been infringed. If possible, include a URL to where it is posted 

This book is sold from [private] and is not for 

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