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Re: Do we need embargoes for GPL compliance issues?

Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> Ben Hutchings writes ("Re: Do we need embargoes for GPL compliance issues?"):
>> As you may know, an individual copyright holder in the Linux kernel is
>> understood to have succesfully sued various infringing companies
> Bet you a dime to a dollar that these same infringing companies are
> vigorously opposed to GPLv3 with its much more reasonable termination
> clause.  (In GPLv2 your licence is automatically terminated as soon as
> you violate.)
> I have no sympathy for them at all.  Hoist by their own petard.  Don't
> want our bugfixes to the licence ?  Fine, keep the bugs you care about
> too.
> I don't think Debian is at significant risk even from the trollish
> people being discussed here.

As I understand it (IANAL), the troll in question is using a wrinkle of
German law to send out paperwork that has a rather short time-limit to
respond, which railroads the victim into signing something, after which
that can be used as leverage in a second complaint to extract money from
the victim.

There is not much chance of Debian getting our act together inside the
deadline and signing something, even if we wanted to, which makes us
pretty-much immune to this attack.

The alternative route is to defend the case immediately.  When that
happened recently and a judge took a look at it, the troll's case went
really rather badly.

I'd guess that any slightly clued up troll is going to see that Debian
is a terrible target to choose.  We're not going to take the easy route
of simply signing something to make the case go away.  We're likely to
get lawyers willing to act for us for free.  We definitely don't make
any money out of any violation we might be accused of, so calculating
damages is going to be hopeless.  The troll will get their clever little
scheme rather more publicity than they'd prefer, which will make it that
much harder to do it to the next victim.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands  [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]  HANDS.COM Ltd.
|-|  http://www.hands.com/    http://ftp.uk.debian.org/
|(|  Hugo-Klemm-Strasse 34,   21075 Hamburg,    GERMANY

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