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

This is a discussion on Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record - Linux ; thufir espoused: > On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 17:01:14 -0500, JEDIDIAH wrote: > > >> No. Whomever distributes the software is on the hook for providing the >> source. >> >> You can force people to walk the chain all ...

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

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

    thufir espoused:
    > On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 17:01:14 -0500, JEDIDIAH wrote:
    >
    >
    >> No. Whomever distributes the software is on the hook for providing the
    >> source.
    >>
    >> You can force people to walk the chain all the way back to the
    >> manufacturer, but they are still ultimately on the hook for using
    >> someone elses work without proper authorization.

    >
    > But, if you've just got a router sitting in your window which you
    > purchased on e-bay and are reselling, surely you, retailer, are not on
    > the hook? Just the manufacturer, I'd think.
    >


    That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    it. I suppose it's just possible you could negotiate with your customer
    to accept it from a third party, but that hasn't been good enough in
    several cases in the past.

    --
    | mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk |
    | Cola faq: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/ |
    | Cola trolls: http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/ |
    | Open platforms prevent vendor lock-in. Own your Own services! |


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

    Hyman Rosen writes:

    >A settlement is a private agreement between parties, and it can be as
    >formal or informal as they want. In any case, there is no reason that
    >the fine details need to be made public, and the general tendency of
    >lawyers is to keep things quiet, because what you don't say can't hurt
    >you.


    Your essential argument is that although they are hiding the actual
    settlement, they are not hiding anything within it. To me, this
    argument seems logically absurd, especially because the settlement in
    question intends to further the cause of open source software. The SFLC
    is not just one more typical private party making private agreements --
    it's a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with protection and advancement
    of free and open source software as its goal.

    Lawyers hide information when they think doing so will benefit their
    client. They yell loudly over rooftops (which they often do -- just look
    at recent contoversies in the news or via news.google.com) when they
    think doing so will benefit their client.

    In this case, some lawyer thinks that hiding the settlement details will
    benefit his client. We just don't know which lawyer and which client.
    --
    Rahul
    http://rahul.rahul.net/

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

    Mark Kent wrote:
    > That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    > you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    > router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    > it.


    You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in
    the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    from the copyright holder.

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

    Rahul Dhesi wrote:
    > Your essential argument is that although they are hiding the actual
    > settlement, they are not hiding anything within it.


    No. They are hiding the exact monetary amounts involved,
    for example, and there may be other things as well. We
    know only what both sides have agreed should be made
    public. One of those things is that the defendants have
    agreed to comply with the GPL, which is the goal of the
    SFLC.

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

    ROFL!

    Yet another delay ("07/16/2008 3 ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge
    Richard M. Berman from Daniel B. Ravicher dated 7/14/08") AND blog
    announcement of yet another "settlement."

    (from PACER... final order is not yet available on PACER as of
    07/24/2008 13:55:26 ET)

    ------
    U.S. District Court
    United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
    (Foley Square)
    CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 1:08-cv-05269-RMB

    Andersen et al v. Super Micro Computer, Inc.
    Assigned to: Judge Richard M. Berman
    Cause: 17:101 Copyright Infringement
    Date Filed: 06/09/2008
    Jury Demand: None
    Nature of Suit: 820 Copyright
    Jurisdiction: Federal Question
    Plaintiff
    Erik Andersen
    an individual represented by Aaron Kyle Williamson
    Software Freedom Law Center, Inc
    1995 Broadway
    17th Floor
    New York, NY 10023
    (212) 461-1911
    Fax: (212) 580-0898
    Email: aaronw@softwarefreedom.org
    LEAD ATTORNEY
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

    Daniel Ben Ravicher
    Software Freedom Law Center, Inc
    1995 Broadway
    17th Floor
    New York, NY 10023
    (212) 580-0800
    Fax: (212) 580-0898
    Email: ravicher@softwarefreedom.org
    LEAD ATTORNEY
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

    Plaintiff
    Rob Landley
    an individual represented by Aaron Kyle Williamson
    (See above for address)
    LEAD ATTORNEY
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

    Daniel Ben Ravicher
    (See above for address)
    LEAD ATTORNEY
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED


    V.

    Defendant
    Super Micro Computer, Inc.
    a Delaware Corporation


    Date Filed # Docket Text
    06/09/2008 1 COMPLAINT against Super Micro Computer, Inc.. (Filing Fee
    $ 350.00.)Document filed by Erik Andersen, Rob Landley.(mbe) (mbe).
    (Entered: 06/12/2008)
    06/09/2008 SUMMONS ISSUED as to Super Micro Computer, Inc.. (mbe)
    (Entered: 06/12/2008)
    06/09/2008 Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman is so designated. (mbe)
    (Entered: 06/12/2008)
    06/09/2008 Case Designated ECF. (mbe) (Entered: 06/12/2008)
    06/12/2008 ***NOTE TO ATTORNEY TO E-MAIL PDF. Note to Attorney for
    noncompliance with Section (3) of the S.D.N.Y. 3rd Amended Instructions
    For Filing An Electronic Case or Appeal and Section 1(d) of the S.D.N.Y.
    Procedures For Electronic Case Filing. E-MAIL the PDF for Document 1
    Complaint to: case_openings@nysd.uscourts.gov. (mbe) (Entered:
    06/12/2008)
    07/14/2008 2 AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE. Super Micro Computer, Inc. served on
    6/27/2008, answer due 7/17/2008. Service was accepted by Bob Aeshliman,
    General Counsel. Document filed by Erik Andersen; Rob Landley.
    (Williamson, Aaron) (Entered: 07/14/2008)
    07/16/2008 3 ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Richard M. Berman from
    Daniel B. Ravicher dated 7/14/08 re: Plaintiffs request an adjournment
    of the pre-trial conference currently scheduled for July 17, 2008, at
    9:15 a.m. to on or after August 1, 2008. ENDORSEMENT: Conference
    adjourned to 8/20/08 at 9:15 a.m. So Ordered. (Signed by Judge Richard
    M. Berman on 7/16/08) (js) (Entered: 07/16/2008)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PACER Service Center
    ------

    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/...ox-supermicro/

    ------
    July 23, 2008

    BusyBox Developers and Supermicro Agree to End GPL Lawsuit

    Good Faith Discussions Result in Dismissal of Copyright Infringement
    Case

    The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today announced that an agreement
    has been reached to dismiss the GNU General Public License (GPL)
    enforcement lawsuit filed by SFLC against Super Micro Computer, Inc. on
    behalf of two principal developers of BusyBox.

    BusyBox is a lightweight set of standard Unix utilities commonly used in
    embedded systems and is open source software licensed under GPL version
    2. One of the conditions of the GPL is that re-distributors of BusyBox
    are required to ensure that each downstream recipient is provided access
    to the source code of the program. Supermicro distributes BusyBox in its
    AOC-SIM1U+ IPMI 2.0 System Management Card and via its Web site.

    As a result of the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit and
    offering to reinstate Supermicro's rights to distribute BusyBox under
    the GPL, Supermicro has agreed to appoint an Open Source Compliance
    Officer within its organization to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, to
    publish the complete and corresponding source code for the version of
    BusyBox it previously distributed, and to undertake substantial efforts
    to notify previous recipients of BusyBox from Supermicro of their rights
    to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an
    undisclosed amount of financial consideration to compensate the
    plaintiffs.

    "We are pleased that the parties can put this matter behind them and
    that Supermicro has taken measures to avoid future GPL violations," said
    Aaron Williamson, SFLC Counsel.

    The lawsuit, "Erik Andersen and Rob Landley v. Super Micro Computer,
    Inc." case number 1:08-cv-05269-RMB, was filed June 9, 2008, in the
    United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
    ------

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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

    In article ,
    Hyman Rosen wrote:
    > Mark Kent wrote:
    > > That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    > > you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    > > router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    > > it.

    >
    > You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    > If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    > by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in
    > the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    > copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    > from the copyright holder.


    Same in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else.


    --
    --Tim Smith

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

    Hyman Rosen writes:

    >Rahul Dhesi wrote:
    >> Your essential argument is that although they are hiding the actual
    >> settlement, they are not hiding anything within it.


    >No. They are hiding the exact monetary amounts involved,
    >for example, and there may be other things as well. We
    >know only what both sides have agreed should be made
    >public. One of those things is that the defendants have
    >agreed to comply with the GPL, which is the goal of the
    >SFLC.


    So we agree that they have something to hide. And you seem to be
    contradicting yourself, sometimes arguing they have nothing to hide,
    sometimes conceding that they do.

    There may be good reasons to hide the monetary amount. If it's large
    (e.g., SFLC gets $10 million), it makes the defendant look bad (akin to
    admitting wrong-doing) and may also make the SFLC look bad (greedy). If
    it's small (e.g., SFLC gets $50), if makes the SFLC look bad (it means
    the defendant essentially got away with wrong-doing and lost nothing
    when caught.

    But they could have redacted the amount and published the rest. There
    must be more -- enough that a few redactions would not suffice.
    --
    Rahul
    http://rahul.rahul.net/

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


    Hyman Rosen wrote:
    >
    > Rahul Dhesi wrote:
    > > Your essential argument is that although they are hiding the actual
    > > settlement, they are not hiding anything within it.

    >
    > No. They are hiding the exact monetary amounts involved,


    Right.

    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/...ox-supermicro/

    "an undisclosed amount of financial consideration"

    Could it be that "an undisclosed amount of financial consideration" is
    actually "you [Busybox] don't have to pay our [Supermicro] attorneys'
    fees in the amount of $..."?

    http://williampatry.blogspot.com/200...iff-twice.html

    -----
    The builder again moved to dismiss; the court granted the motion,
    holding that the “relevant jurisdictional fact, which cannot be changed
    by amending the complaint, is that registration of the copyright had not
    been made” when the complaint was originally filed. Plaintiff then
    re-filed its complaint; the builder moved to dismissal under FRCP 41(a).
    The court denied the motion, but sua sponte ordered plaintiff to pay
    attorney’s fees in connection with the prior two dismissals, and to
    really show its pique stayed the proceedings until the fees were paid
    up.

    That was just the beginning of the mess, though, as years of litigation
    over motions for reconsideration, summary judgment, and appeal to the
    Seventh Circuit occurred. Ultimately, another $75,000 in fees were
    awarded in connection with the motion for summary judgment and the
    appeal. One cannot but wonder whether the final award was influenced by
    the 411(a) fiasco.
    -----

    http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts...9991112mem.htm

    -------
    Registration of copyright in the work that is allegedly infringed is a
    jurisdictional requirement. 17 U.S.C. § 411. Techniques, Inc. v. Rohn,
    592 F.Supp. 1195, 1197; 225 U.S.P.Q. 741 (S.D.N.Y. 1984)("Pursuant to 17
    U.S.C. § 411(a) as well as its predecessor, § 13, it has been held
    repeatedly that ownership of a copyright registration is a
    jurisidictional prerequisite to an action for infringement. . . . A
    complaint which fails to plead compliance with § 411(a) is defective and
    subject to dismissal."); Grundberg v. The Upjohn Company, 137 F.R.D.
    372, 382; 19 U.S.P.Q. 1590 (D. Ut. 1991). Lacking even an allegation of
    registration of copyright ... this Court is without subject matter
    jurisdiction.
    -------

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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


    Rahul Dhesi wrote:
    >
    > Hyman Rosen writes:
    >
    > >Rahul Dhesi wrote:
    > >> Your essential argument is that although they are hiding the actual
    > >> settlement, they are not hiding anything within it.

    >
    > >No. They are hiding the exact monetary amounts involved,
    > >for example, and there may be other things as well. We
    > >know only what both sides have agreed should be made
    > >public. One of those things is that the defendants have
    > >agreed to comply with the GPL, which is the goal of the
    > >SFLC.

    >
    > So we agree that they have something to hide. And you seem to be
    > contradicting yourself, sometimes arguing they have nothing to hide,
    > sometimes conceding that they do.
    >
    > There may be good reasons to hide the monetary amount. If it's large
    > (e.g., SFLC gets $10 million), it makes the defendant look bad (akin to
    > admitting wrong-doing) and may also make the SFLC look bad (greedy). If
    > it's small (e.g., SFLC gets $50), if makes the SFLC look bad (it means
    > the defendant essentially got away with wrong-doing and lost nothing
    > when caught.


    You seem to overlook the case of monetary amount being negative to
    Busybox. I mean negative as in

    "you [Busybox] don't have to pay our [Supermicro] attorneys' fees in the
    amount of $... except mandatory nominal damages in the amount of $1".

    Why not?

    That is a valid consideration to compensate Busybox developers to
    settle.

    http://williampatry.blogspot.com/200...iff-twice.html

    -----
    The builder again moved to dismiss; the court granted the motion,
    holding that the “relevant jurisdictional fact, which cannot be changed
    by amending the complaint, is that registration of the copyright had not
    been made” when the complaint was originally filed. Plaintiff then
    re-filed its complaint; the builder moved to dismissal under FRCP 41(a).
    The court denied the motion, but sua sponte ordered plaintiff to pay
    attorney’s fees in connection with the prior two dismissals, and to
    really show its pique stayed the proceedings until the fees were paid
    up.

    That was just the beginning of the mess, though, as years of litigation
    over motions for reconsideration, summary judgment, and appeal to the
    Seventh Circuit occurred. Ultimately, another $75,000 in fees were
    awarded in connection with the motion for summary judgment and the
    appeal. One cannot but wonder whether the final award was influenced by
    the 411(a) fiasco.
    -----

    http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts...9991112mem.htm

    -------
    Registration of copyright in the work that is allegedly infringed is a
    jurisdictional requirement. 17 U.S.C. § 411. Techniques, Inc. v. Rohn,
    592 F.Supp. 1195, 1197; 225 U.S.P.Q. 741 (S.D.N.Y. 1984)("Pursuant to 17
    U.S.C. § 411(a) as well as its predecessor, § 13, it has been held
    repeatedly that ownership of a copyright registration is a
    jurisidictional prerequisite to an action for infringement. . . . A
    complaint which fails to plead compliance with § 411(a) is defective and
    subject to dismissal."); Grundberg v. The Upjohn Company, 137 F.R.D.
    372, 382; 19 U.S.P.Q. 1590 (D. Ut. 1991). Lacking even an allegation of
    registration of copyright ... this Court is without subject matter
    jurisdiction.
    -------

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > In article ,
    > Hyman Rosen wrote:
    >> Mark Kent wrote:
    >> > That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    >> > you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    >> > router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    >> > it.

    >>
    >> You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    >> If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    >> by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in
    >> the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    >> copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    >> from the copyright holder.

    >
    > Same in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else.


    I think the wording above is goofy. It seems to say I can take a
    legally-acquired MP3 file and copy it and resell the copy /or copies/>

    --
    Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.
    -- Mark Twain

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

    Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    > Yet another delay ("07/16/2008 3 ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge
    > Richard M. Berman from Daniel B. Ravicher dated 7/14/08") AND blog
    > announcement of yet another "settlement."


    Exactly as I said would happen. There's no need for scare quotes
    around the word. The settlement involves the defendant making the
    GPLed sources available, just as they should.

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


    Linonut wrote:
    >
    > * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    > > In article ,
    > > Hyman Rosen wrote:
    > >> Mark Kent wrote:
    > >> > That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    > >> > you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    > >> > router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    > >> > it.
    > >>
    > >> You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    > >> If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    > >> by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in
    > >> the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    > >> copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    > >> from the copyright holder.

    > >
    > > Same in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else.

    >
    > I think the wording above is goofy. It seems to say I can take a
    > legally-acquired MP3 file and copy it and resell the copy /or copies/>


    If a copy (or copies) that you've made is legal (made under
    authorization from the copyright owner, "fair use", "compulsory
    licensing", etc.) then reselling (distribution) doesn't give rise to
    copyright liability. However, the act of you making a copy (or copies)
    may (or may not) trigger contract liability. And that is enforceable
    under the contract laws.

    In the Committee Report that accompanied the passage of the Copyright
    Act of 1976 (House Report 94-1976), there is this explanation:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United..._1/Section_109

    ----
    To come within the scope of section 109(a), a copy or phonorecord must
    have been "lawfully made under this title," though not necessarily with
    the copyright owner's authorization. For example, any resale of an
    illegally "pirated" phonorecord would be an infringement, but the
    disposition of a phonorecord legally made under the compulsory licensing
    provisions of section 115 would not.
    ----


    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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

    Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    > Could it be that "an undisclosed amount of financial consideration" is
    > actually "you [Busybox] don't have to pay our [Supermicro] attorneys'
    > fees in the amount of $..."?


    Sure. And it could be "your [Supermicro] attorneys have to
    buy us [Busybox] ice cream sundaes for a year". That's what
    undisclosed means.

    But as usual, we have (1) GPL violation, (2) SFLC files suit,
    (3) suit ends, (4) GPLed sources made available. That's what
    GPL enforcement is all about.

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

    On 2008-07-24, Hyman Rosen wrote:
    > Mark Kent wrote:
    >> That's not my understanding. The GPL is reasonably clear on this, if
    >> you distribute the software in binary form, such as on flash in a
    >> router, then you must also make the source available to anyone who wants
    >> it.

    >
    > You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    > If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    > by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in


    ....only if the works were legally obtained.

    If you get copies of Dark Knight from the local flea market
    you can't resell those just because you bought them from
    someone else. The first sale doctrine doesn't cover theft.
    It works the same way for corporeal property too. If you
    find that you've sold some stolen goods "perfectly
    legitmately" then you might find yourself on the business
    end of a world of hurt.

    > the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    > copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    > from the copyright holder.



    --

    Linux: Because I don't want to push pretty buttons. |||
    I want the pretty buttons to push themelves. / | \

    Posted Via Usenet.com Premium Usenet Newsgroup Services
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.usenet.com

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

    Hyman Rosen wrote:
    [...]
    > (3) suit ends, (4) GPLed sources made available. That's what


    I've just visited

    http://www.supermicro.com/

    and entered "GPL" in "Home Contact Us Advanced Search" field. Clicking
    on "Search" button yielded

    -----
    Supermicro Search Results
    Home
    Contact Us
    Advanced Search

    We are sorry. Your search yielded zero results. Please go back and try
    again.
    ------

    Do you have a link, Hyman?

    (I've also tried "GNU" in "Home Contact Us Advanced Search" to no
    avail.)

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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

    Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    > Do you have a link, Hyman?



    TFTP Listing of /GPL/ at ftp.supermicro.com
    Parent Directory

    Jul 08 2008 12:02 74165878 ipmi_ppc_opensrc.tgz
    Jul 17 2008 11:17 10212 lib_smc_usb_lcd_linux.tgz

    Brand spanking new files.


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

    thufir writes:

    > On Wed, 23 Jul 2008 20:45:15 +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
    >
    >>> I don't see why their participation is required, it's between the buyer
    >>> and the manufacturer.

    >>
    >> No. The buyer has no rights derived from copyright law since he is not
    >> the copyright owner.

    >
    > The buyer is the guy who walks in off the street and purchases the router
    > (which run GPL'ed software)?
    >
    > To my understanding, the buyer does have the right, under the GPL, to
    > the source.


    No. The copyright owner has the right to demand that the buyer gets the
    source. The buyer does not have this right.

    If I pay at a merry-go-round for a ride of my child, the child does not
    get the right to demand a ride. _I_ get the right to demand that it
    gets a ride.

    > After, the GPL is targeted, you could say, at buyers to protect
    > copyright owners.


    The GPL is targeted at _effectively_ providing the buyers of software
    with certain rights. But it has to go via the copyright holder:

    "Your honor, software buyers should have the right to..." "Richard, try
    to be coherent. You can't use "software buyers" and "right" in the same
    sentence in that way." "Your honor, as a software author I should have
    the right to..." "Granted. I just _love_ how right those words sound."

    >> Yes, but it is not the customer who can enforce this. The
    >> manufacturer has an obligation to the copyright owner to make the
    >> source available to his customers.

    >
    >
    > That seems backwards in that, for example, the copyright holder might
    > be dead, and lets say has no heirs and no will.


    Tough. Get your copy before it is too late.

    For example, there are people who take GPLed software, extend it, and
    rerelease under the GPL in order to follow their obligations, but don't
    give **** about the GPL or adherence to it regarding their own software.
    Now if someone lifts only their contribution from the GPL-licensed
    software and sells you proprietary binaries without the source, you are
    screwed. _You_ are not in a position to demand source, and the
    copyright owner, the _only_ one to make demands, can't be bothered. If
    you can't get him interested to take this up, you are plain out of
    options. Because you are the software buyer. See above.

    --
    David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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

    Hyman Rosen writes:

    >But as usual, we have (1) GPL violation, (2) SFLC files suit,
    >(3) suit ends, (4) GPLed sources made available. That's what
    >GPL enforcement is all about.


    The SFLC says it differently. Their GPL enforcement always seeks some
    sort of penalty for the offender that goes far beyond simply making GPL
    sources available. Otherwise future defendants would have no incentive
    to not violate the GPL in the first place.
    --
    Rahul
    http://rahul.rahul.net/

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

    David Kastrup writes:

    >No. The copyright owner has the right to demand that the buyer gets the
    >source. The buyer does not have this right.


    >If I pay at a merry-go-round for a ride of my child, the child does not
    >get the right to demand a ride. _I_ get the right to demand that it
    >gets a ride.


    Not a good analogy. The child as beneficiary to a contract could almost
    certainly enforce it. (Although, of course, it would have to find some
    other parent or guardian to represent it in court, if you failed to do
    so yourself.)
    --
    Rahul
    http://rahul.rahul.net/

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

    In article ,
    Linonut wrote:
    > >> You are forgetting that accepting the GPL is voluntary.
    > >> If you choose not to accept the GPL, then you are limited
    > >> by what copyright law normally permits. Copyright law in
    > >> the U.S. permits you to resell copies of legally acquired
    > >> copyrighted works, without license or permission required
    > >> from the copyright holder.

    > >
    > > Same in Europe, and pretty much everywhere else.

    >
    > I think the wording above is goofy. It seems to say I can take a
    > legally-acquired MP3 file and copy it and resell the copy /or copies/>


    Yeah, someone back there phrased things badly. For first sale (AKA
    copyright exhaustion in Europe) to protect you from distributing a
    particular copy, you have to legally own that particular copy, and that
    copy has to have been lawfully made.

    The classic example would be a book. You buy a book at the bookstore.
    You finish the book, and want to sell it to a used bookstore. You own
    that copy, and it was lawfully made, so you are fine.

    If, however, you were to make a photocopy of that book, you would not be
    protected by first sale if you tried to sell that. You do own that
    particular copy that you made, but it was not lawfully made.

    Similar situation with your MP3 file. If you make copies of it, they
    are probably not lawfully made, so first sale would not apply.

    Files also raise tricky and/or confusing issues because most things you
    do with them involve copies. Suppose, for example, you buy an MP3 from
    Amazon.com. You actually obtain the file via a download. The end
    result is a copy of the file residing in your download directory.
    Suppose you keep your music library on a different disk, so you "move"
    the file. It's on a different disk, so your computer actually make a
    copy of the file in the new location, and deletes the source copy. So,
    you HAVE made a copy, and no longer possess the actual copy Amazon sold
    you. Does first sale allow you to sell that to me? If yes, do you have
    to give me the physical disk on which it resides, or can you email the
    file to me as an attachment and delete your copy?

    It is mainly to avoid those issues that almost all of my first sale
    hypotheticals carefully only use copies that are on CD-ROMs or otherwise
    embedded in a particular physical object that is changing hands.


    --
    --Tim Smith

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