[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: xfig-doc has license problems in examples

John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu> writes:

> Actually they are, if they wish to effectively maintain the copyright: 

They can choose to enforce against some people and not others, and
have complete liberty.  By failing to prosecute one violation
promptly, they could lose the right to prosecute that one at all
(though they might still be able to enjoin any future copying).  

I assume that this is a perfectly fine situation with the FSF.

> Otherwise, one could claim that they were copying the CPDL instead of the 
> GPL.  There isn't really a squatter's rights doctrine for IP, but 
> I'd be willing to bet that sooner or later a judge is going to get tired 
> of all of this submarine patenting and selective copyright enforcement and 
> start handing down decisions that are remarkably similar to squatter's 
> rights.

For copyright, if you don't prosecute violations promptly, then you
lose the right to prosecute that violation at all.  (I believe the
technical term for this is "laches", and it applies to just about any
civil case.)

Selective copyright enforcement is perfectly fine; it's just that if
you fail to enforce against John Doe, you might lose the right to
enforce against him at all.  But it's perfectly fine to prosecute John
Doe but not Mary Roe, and you have complete discretion.

For patents, it's even more liberal: laches never applies to patent
violations.  So even if you let John Smith get away with it for five
years, you can still come and sue later.  There's an explicit
provision in law against any kind of "squatters' rights" in the case
of patents, alas.


Reply to: