Re: Linuxsampler license
On 9/20/05, Branden Robinson <email@example.com> wrote:
> Harald Welte have successfully pursued
> infringment claims against people who violate the GPL.
Einstweilige Verfuegung (ex parte action) != Hauptverfahren (lawsuit).
It's a Small Welte After All
Across the wide ocean, other enforcement of the GPL runs along a
different trail. Harald Welte, a self-appointed enforcer of the GPL
who operates a GPL Web site filed two actions with the District Court
of Munich to enforce the license. In both cases, Welte was the author
of code that had appeared in the defendant's product. The court
granted Welte an injunction against Sitecom Deutschland GmbH,
prohibiting Sitecom from distributing a wireless networking router
until it complied with the GPL.
Well, the injunction was about "netfilter/iptables code" and nothing
else. No word about the router.
Sitecom appealed the injunction, but lost,
Sitecom's objection (not really "appeal") to the injunction had really
nothing to do with the GPL. And the subsequent ruling by the same
district court "discussing" the GPL (as presented by Welte's attorney)
was so bizarre that nobody over here in his right mind believes that it
could have withstand the scrutiny of Hauptverfahren, real appeals aside
for a moment.
and Sitecom later posted the terms of the GPL on its FAQ Web page for
the router. Welte also filed for an injunction against Fortinet UK Ltd.
based on its firewall products, with similar results.
Though much has been made of these two cases, there are reasons why
Welte has already obtained injunctions in Germany while the FSF has
not yet sought one in the US. Injunctive enforcement in Germany is so
simple and quick that it makes Americans suspicious about piddling
legal details like legal due process. In Germany, a preliminary
injunction can be obtained ex parte -- in other words, without giving
the defendant the chance to defend itself. (This has the
appropriately scary sounding name einstweilige Verfuegung.)