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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On 7/28/05, Ken Arromdee <arromdee@rahul.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > You Are Wrong. Under US law, this is Contributory Infringement, which
> > carries a full array of jail terms. SCOTUS just upheld it against
> > Grokster a few weeks ago. Providing an automated system for users to
> > perform infringing acts, with the sole intent of aiding them in
> > performing those acts, is the same as doing them yourself.
> But that doesn't apply in the case of automatic systems for users to do the
> link.  The GPL allows users to do what they want privately, so the users
> aren't performing infringing acts themselves.

While Andrew's parallel to Grokster is IMHO inapposite, he is correct
that a theory of contributory infringement (also available in other
countries under the name "vicarious liability") allows recovery from a
party whose role is to facilitate and encourage infringement by
others.  The availability of some sort of personal-use "safe harbor"
(as in European patent law, for instance; see thread on XMMS and MP3)
does not necessarily protect a commercial entity whose product or
service does not have (or is not actually marketed for the sake of)
substantial non-infringing uses.

- Michael

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