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Munich Court Again Enforces GPL

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the weg-to-go dept.

The Courts 311

BrianWCarver writes "Despite earlier concerns reported on Slashdot that the GPL might be particularly difficult to enforce in Germany, that country's courts now hold the distinction of having enforced it twice. The first enforcement came in 2004 when Harald Welte of the netfilter/iptables core team sought to enjoin Sitecom from distributing its WL-122 router, which used netfilter's GPL'd code, without also providing the source code and a copy of the GPL, as that license requires. The Munich Court granted Welte a preliminary injunction and then upheld that injunction (Court's decision in English pdf) and now Sitecom provides the source code from their website. Welte, who also now runs gpl-violations.org to track GPL violations, and who personally handed over warning letters at Cebit to companies not in compliance with the GPL, reported on his blog today that he has obtained a new preliminary injunction enforcing the GPL, this time against Fortinet for distributing their firewall products (FortiGate and FortiWiFi) that include GPL'd code while Fortinet refuses to release the source. Congratulations again to Welte and his attorneys!"

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GNAA FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238298)

GNAA fails it, that is.

So, basically (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238300)

So basically, people go around seeking license infringers and go after them legally when they don't follow it?

How is this different from the RIAA going after its infringers? In both cases, they're intellectual property violations.

Are we only for the idea of intellectual property when it applies to GPL authors? I mean, why should I follow the GPL anyway? I'm told in one situation that copyright is flawed and evil, and in the next I'm told to follow GPL copyright.

Just playing devil's advocate here.

Re:So, basically (4, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238333)

The RIAA suing filesharers == someone taking something prohibitive and making it free

GPL developers suing people who steal their code out of compliance == someone taking something free and making it prohibitive.

There's a fundamental difference in that those stealing GPL code are stealing from EVERYONE, not just from the author.

Re:So, basically (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238369)

That's not the point. In both cases, they are violations of intellectual property.

Several upmodded posts in the past have stated that intellectual property is a flawed concept, as is copyright.

I just wanted to point out that the GPL is based on both the idea of intellectual property and copyright. Yet the RIAA is demonized for protecting that property while GPL authors are championed for it.

Again, devil's advocate. I think these are valid issues to raise.

Re:So, basically (2, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238416)

I'm not arguing that one is illegal and the other isn't

I'm arguing why one is good and the other is bad.

This is a personal moral decision, not a legal statement.

The RIAA has every right in the legal world to sue these people, that doesn't make it "right".

Re:So, basically (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238483)

Yes, its "right" to steal music without compensating the artists, distributors, and other people involved in distributing it, but its not right to take GPL code and not release the source code to your program that uses the code.

Re:So, basically (3, Interesting)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238562)

Naw, I'd not say that myself. Although, I guess I did imply it.

Some people have the opinion that there should be no intellectual property law. That "information wants to be free". These people would happily feel morally justified for trading music, and complying with the GPL.

On the other hand, some people think everything they do should be kept a secret, or someone else will make money off of it also. So, they want to sue anyone who breaks their IP rights, and happily feel morally justified for using GPL code outside of compliance.

Both don't care for IP laws, it's obvious. Just the two have a different modivation. Here at slashdot, we're far closer to the first group than the second.

Of course, I can always break this down to speed laws, and marijuana use, too. People do it, despite it being against the law, they know it's against the law, and they still break it. But they don't personally *feel* like it should be against the law. So they fight that they shouldn't have to respect the law, because they don't agree with it.

Not how the world works. Personally, I respect IP law, I don't listen to music that I don't have a right to listen to, and neither do I share movies in the same way. My friends laugh at me for buying DVDs, and I laugh at them for sharing them.

Both of us feel good. I because I'm following the law, and them because they're not paying anything.

Re:So, basically (4, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238519)

And not all of us disagree with the RIAA.

Personally, I see commercial music as not at all different from Microsoft software. Both are focused entirely on selling the largest volume through advertising and marketing. Neither are of much interest to me.

I wish the RIAA the greatest successes in stopping the music pirates - because this will create the opportunity for a Creative Commons licensed music industry in the exact same way Microsoft's absurd prices for commodities creates the Linux/MySQL opportunity..

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238629)

Interesting... so if the RIAA makes the average Britney Spears or Metallica song cost $20 (only one good song per album; and need to raise the prices to support lawyers), will we start seeing organizations like a FSF for music?

Re:So, basically (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238741)

I do not harbour any grudge against the Artists who want to sell music , I do however despise the tactics that the RIAA use in prosecuting innocent civilians , well i call them inocent as most of the cases are settled out of court as the people can't afford to defend them-selves so we shall never know .
Being Pro GPL /anti RIAA does not mean we have to be anti-capitalists.

Re:So, basically (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238590)

I think what I'm getting at is that one instance of violation is made to appear "right" when the other is not, for no other reason than one is the RIAA. That is moral relativism.

Re:So, basically (1)

Ithika (703697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238746)

Uh, wouldn't that *not* be moral relativism?

If all moralities are equally valid in their own context, then (according to the contexts, ie copyright law, RIAA and GPL)

o not sharing music is valid in the music world
o sharing software is valid in the software world

What is actually stated here is:

o not sharing music is *invalid* in the music world
o sharing software is valid in the software world

To rephrase the first statement to remove the double negative:

o sharing music is valid in the music world
o sharing software is valid in the software world
o therefore, sharing is valid in music *and* software

Which is (as far as the music and software industry is concerned) moral absolutism. Or have I got them confused again?

Re:So, basically (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238715)

In both cases, they are violations of intellectual property.

The very fact you use that propaganda term, a term deliberately designed to muddy the waters of copyright,patent,trademark and design law, and make people think the right to stop others distributing different copies of some information you also have is anything like a right to stop others taking something physical from you is telling. If I steal your apple, I gain an apple, you lose an apple. If I copy a program, I gain a copy, you still have your copy.

The fact an old boy network of powerful politicians, businessmen and lawyers chooses to call something "property" does not make it so.

I just wanted to point out that the GPL is based on both the idea of intellectual property and copyright.

Geez. I have to assume you have heard the FSF party line by now: "Without copyright the GPL would be unenforceable. It would also be unnecessary". The point being the GPL only exists to make the best of a bad job. As an author of GPL software (posting anonymously because you did), I would be perfectly happy for you to "violate" the terms of the GPL.. provided you couild waive all right to enforce other copyrights against others now or in future. That is to say, I'd only take action against those who could take my right to pass on information away.

Note that I only object to you having any right to censor me - I do not want a right to claim I authored a particular composition! Plagiarism is still fraud in the complete absence of copyright law.

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238404)

"someone taking something free and making it prohibitive."

Gee, you mean if I embed GPL'ed code in my application, ignore the GPL and copyright it people can go to jail for using the orginal GPL'd code I ripped off. Sweeet.

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238422)

Good luck getting a copywrite on GPL'd code after it's been released.

Re:So, basically (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238435)

No... prohibitive as in, you lose rights to the code.

Namely, if there's GPL code out there, you have access to the source code. Then someone takes your code, makes some modifications and does not release it GPL. Everyone has lost rights in this situation, as no one is now able to get the source code.

I'm not speaking of a legal prohibition against using it.

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238457)

The RIAA suing filesharers == someone taking something prohibitive and making it free

So the RIAA makes music free by suing filesharers who where prohibiting it's access?

You should have said: The RIAA suing filesharers who are taking something prohibitive and making it free

At which point, I see where you're getting at, but I still disagree. They're still both cases of a copyright holder suing to protect a copyright.

I'm posting as an AC because taking the "wrong" side gets you modded down quick

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238458)

If if they are stealing from EVERYONE, they are really not doing too much -- because EVERYONE doesn't need that much from the product to survive,

While at the same point, SOMEONE definately needs to survive from the content in his own work.

Fucking hippy commies...willing to kill the one to save the rest.

Re:So, basically (2, Insightful)

hchaos (683337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238681)

The RIAA suing filesharers == someone taking something prohibitive and making it free

GPL developers suing people who steal their code out of compliance == someone taking something free and making it prohibitive.

There's a fundamental difference in that those stealing GPL code are stealing from EVERYONE, not just from the author.

If I break the window to your car, hotwire it, and then leave it in the middle of downtown so that anyone else can drive it, too, I'm taking something prohibitive and making it free, but that doesn't make it right. Using "free" and "prohibitive" really doesn't answer the underlying question of why one author's wishes should be respected, and another author's wishes should be ignored.

The only reasons that I know of why a thing should be free are because it has no value, because it costs nothing to produce, or because the owner chooses to give it away. Neither software nor music is worthless, and both cost money and time to produce. Therefore, neither one should be considered free without the consent of the copyright owner.

Furthermore, the GPL is not a case of taking something free and making it prohibitive. There is a cost to distributing the source code along with the binaries, so it's not free to use. Secondly, nothing that a company can do will prevent you from getting the code from another source, so there is no "stealing from EVERYONE".

The real issue with GPL violations is using copyrighted material to create a derivative work without permission from the copyright holders, which is quite distinct from theft. Theft requires depriving someone of something of value. In a loose sense, music file-sharing is theft, because there would normally be an exchange of money for the right to have a permanent copy of the music, and by downloading the music, you deprive the artist of the money that they should get from this transaction. For GPL'd software, there is an explicit statement that the author does not expect any money in exchange for the right to use the code, so no theft is possible.

Re:So, basically (3, Interesting)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238341)

How is this different from the RIAA going after its infringers? In both cases, they're intellectual property violations.

First of all RIAA are pimps going around bullying people and collecting money. That being said the intellectual property is not that of RIAA but actual artists most of whom don't even hold rights to their own creation

On the other hand GPL software is a creation of group of hard working individuals with profit being the last intent. In my books its completely differet.

Propaganda (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238639)

First of all RIAA are pimps going around bullying people and collecting money.


and then

On the other hand GPL software is a creation of group of hard working individuals with profit being the last intent.


Now, the RIAA is not a bunch of pimps going around bullying people and collecting money. They're suing people who are illegally trading their materials in order to not have to pay for them. Those artists whom you claim have no rights to their property WILLINGLY SIGNED THEIR CONTRACTS. WILLINGLY.

GPL authors are not all hard working individuals working out of the goodness of their heart for all of humanity. They're random software developers like you and I who like to program now and then.

In both cases, you've drawn an extreme to support your own prejudgement about the situation. Why are the RIAA wrong in protecting their property, but the GPL authors are right in protecting theirs? You and others have still not sufficiently justified that distinction other than telling me the RIAA are evil bullies, which doesn't prove anything other than the feelings you have against them for some reason (one suspects self-justification of copyright infringement, which often includes demonization of others to shift blame).

Re:So, basically... Would be interesting indeed... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238658)

to find in the near future that microsoft (lower-casing/deprecation of their name intentional/perpetual with me...) is using more than just BSD/FreeBSD code in their warez.

Would it be offensive to mshaft and RIAA acolytes for disguntled employees to dissolve their IP/NDA duties in the face of clear theft of GPL code?

Even more interesting would be if some disgruntled employees who leak it do it such a manner that it survives the sure-to-follow "inadmissible evidence due to illegal seizure and release of information in this case your honor" here in the US. Pliant, weak, feckless judges would probably spend the better part of 15 years before gettiing around to punishing (painfully punishing, that is, not just a tickle on the frenulum or feather on the cossix) mshaft for such infringements in the US,
or in countries where ms can pay off governments to pressure or replace judges.

So, do any of you out there have proof that lurking, buried deep in ms code is stolen/masked/encrypted/bynarized GPL code?

Not the same at all (1)

Visaris (553352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238362)

He is not trying to extract insane amounts of money from them. He just wants them to comply and post the source code. It really isn't hard. It would be like the RIAA going to court to get people to share their mp3s.... You see where I'm going with this, right?

False Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238384)

No, the correct analogy would be if the RIAA forced the infringers to pay for all the copies of music they downloaded at the standard retail price.

Re:False Analogy (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238664)

No, the correct anology would be the RIAA offering infringers to buy the CDs they downloaded or erase the mp3s from their hard disks.

Re:So, basically (1)

VoidPoint (634537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238374)

They're completely different. The RIAA and a GPL holder are using the same tools (the courts), but defending completely unrelated "products", so to speak.

Re:So, basically (1)

NichG (62224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238377)

In this case its the author of the code who's doing it. I'd be worried however if someone were pressing a case for a GPL violation without the author's consent, since even if someone chooses to license under the GPL they're also free to license under alternate schemes to select other groups at their whim.

Re:So, basically (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238399)

"Information wants to be Free!"

Yes, Information wants to be free, but Information has a wife, kids, car payments and a mortgage, not to mention an ex- and lawyer's fees. Information has responsibilities and must charge reasonable rates to cover them.

Enforcement of the law is generally a good thing, even when the law is kinda stupid. Forces you to either live with it, or fix it.

Re:So, basically (5, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238415)

Welte doesn't do it against private citizens by threatening them to sue, extorting money for settlements. A typical filesharer doesn't sell the downloaded music for money either.

The first thing a filesharer sees from the RIAA is a C&D letter demanding money. Welte tells the infringing companies "We know you use GPLed code in your products you sell. Clean up your act or we will do more than just remind you about it.". At this time, there is no fine to pay if the company complies.

The company in question, Fortinet, ignored him and did what all scumbags do then: they tried to hide the GPL violations by obfuscation.

Re:So, basically (4, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238468)

Exactly, this is what's getting me about all these GPL violators.

We're not asking for money, we're asking for a simple compliance. What the hell is wrong with you that you'd rather spend money paying lawyers to defend your belief that you can take GPL code and use it how you please, than not pay a lawyer, keep your money, and just comply.

Some of these GPL violators have to be idiots, or have idiot lawyers.

Re:So, basically (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238461)

This is also different in the fact that these people making routers are explicitly selling others property for their gain. Not to split leagal hairs here, but I find it more repulsive. Not to mention its a corporation stealing and making actual gains from it. and not in he case of the RIAA, making up vaporous losses to justify huge settlements.

Re:So, basically (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238467)

Why does this come up *every single fucking time* there's a story on GPL enforcement? Go ye and read stuff at gnu.org, the answer is obvious: the GPL is a *patch* on the copyright system that undermines copyright so long as copyright is enforced. If we got rid of copyright all together, we would have no need for the GPL, because we could reverse-engineer and modify code at our leisure.

Re:So, basically (2, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238491)

In the RIAA's case, they have not provided a way to conduct the same behavior legally. You're conflating compliance with prohibition.

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238514)

they provided a way to not release the source code?

So much for enforcing the spirit of the GPL.

Re:So, basically (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238507)

Most people who support the GPL view it as copyleft [wikipedia.org] , not copyright. The GPL is a compromise for a non-ideal world. Basically it is exploiting the nature of current freedom-restricting legal structures (copyright) in order to guarantee freedoms that would otherwise be removed.

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need the GPL, since everyone would play nice and information would be free. In the real world, the GPL (and similar licenses) are a compromise that safeguard our freedoms.

Therein lies the difference. It is not hypocritical to be in favor of GPL but be against conventional copyright, since the root ideology is very different in the two cases. If it were merely a legal issue, then it would be hypocritical to favor one over the other. However it is not merely legal: it is a matter of ethics and wanting the world to be a certain way. Put more simply: I can be favor of law and order and civilized society in general, but still be against certain laws in particular. This is not hypocritical.

Re:So, basically (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238522)

"How is this different from the RIAA going after its infringers? In both cases, they're intellectual property violations."

He is not asking for money, he is simply asking them to comply with the GPL.

So yes both a IP violations but the method of enforcement is vastly different.

Free != free (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238538)

GPL and FSF's stance is "software shall be free". This is very different to saying "you're free to use it in any way". For that you need a differnt licence, maybe BSD.

As has been discussed many times, GPL is a "viral" licence that "infects" anything it is joined to. Bolt GPL onto other code and it must be, or become, GPL too.

What is interesting/confusing is that there are exceptions specified in the GPL FAQ (not that you have to consider this binding since it is not part of the GPL). For instance, it is OK to build GPL code with a Microsoft (or other proprietary) compiler and link in proprietary Microsoft libraries that ship with the compiler (eg. the C-library stuff). This makes for some interesting loopholes. If I bundled up a compiler with MyLib (my secret stuff), could I use it with GPL and keep my stuff non-GPL?

Re:Free != free (2, Informative)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238732)

Actually there are no restrictions on *use*, only on *distribution*. You can link all you want to and keep your stuff as secret as you want. You just can't distribute it linked.

And this to the trolls that cry wolf (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238556)

At least for my part, I believe that all IP should be default BSD license style. In other words, I believe the government should leave people alone with respect to IP. So, if you can keep your IP secret, then you can exclusively use that IP. Otherwise, it's simply free. Somebody who believes as I do might try to make a license (acknowledged by the Government) that provides that the code will never be subject to petty restrictions. This way, more of the world's IP can be free as we believe it ought to be.

The GPL was designed to be such a license. People cry out when the GPL gets violated not because the IP has been violated, but because the IP has become less free.

Re:So, basically (4, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238597)

Every time there is an article related to either the GPL or the RIAA someone raises the same argument. And it should get the same answer...

The purpose of the GPL is to ensure freedom. If it wern't for the possibility that someone monopolist would take free code and use it to make obscene profits, while at the same time making that code incompatible with the free versions, most of the "open source" or "free software" work would probably have been Public Domain instead.

The reason RMS devised the GPL was as a great way to subvert the system to force freedom.

The RIAA on the other hand is an immoral, corrupt organization that keeps artists poor, charges obscene prices for music, while using those profits to lobby congress to get themselves infinite copyright against the intent in the US constitution, and stamp out any competing form of music distribution. I don't see any moral comparison at all.

Here is an excellent article that might inform you on the subject.
New Arguments Against P2P: The Phony Moral Debate [typepad.com]


Are we only for the idea of intellectual property when it applies to GPL authors? I'm told in one situation that copyright is flawed and evil, and in the next I'm told to follow GPL copyright.

I am for the original intent of copyright and patents in the constitution. Not what they have been corrupted into by mega corporations. Again, the GPL wouldn't need to exist if it wern't for the misbehavior of corporations. Copyright in its present corrupted form is flawed and evil. You should follow the GPL because its purpose is to ensure freedom. Your freedom even. The GPL is to ensure YOUR freedom to use and study the code.

Re:So, basically (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238615)

No, although we may disagree with their methods, the RIAA does have a right to go after people distributing copyrighted material without authorization, just like GPL developers have a right to go after people distributing GPL software without following the terms of the license. However, the RIAA does not have the right to go after people for downloading copyrighted material (unless they later redistribute it) just like GPL developers have no right to go after people who bought network equipment from companies that violate the GPL. I believe at least half the ./ crowd does have a consistent viewpoint on this, but I may be wrong.

Re:So, basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238698)

How is this different from the RIAA going after its infringers?

The GPL enforcers aren't abusive arseholes who run a cartel, sue businesses that haven't broken the law in order to discourage competition, and pay off politicians to retroactively, immorally extend copyright terms in order to make 70 zillion dollars a year instead of a measly 65 zillion dollars a year.

While I don't complain about the RIAA specifically targetting people infringing on their copyrights, I'm not going to cheer them on because I hate the bastards and want them to go out of business.

mirror of pdf (3, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238302)

is here [networkmirror.com]

The rest, you can find on your own. :)

Good news, but we need some US court rulings 1st (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238316)

before we break open the bottles of German champagne ...

Why? (1)

Danuvius (704536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238345)

Good news, but we need some US court rulings 1st

Why? You can always apply to immigrate. ;)
before we break open the bottles of German champagne ...
I don't believe such a thing exists. ;)

Re:Good news, but we need some US court rulings 1s (3, Informative)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238366)

http://jeremy.linuxquestions.org/blog/_archives/20 05/3/22/464220.html

DrewTech vs SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)

DrewTech developed some GPL code, and SAE said that they owned it and refused to release the source, and were charging money for it.

SAE gave up on their claims of ownership and released the source.

I feel it's more of an issue of the SAE debating the origin of the code than actually contesting the GPL, though.

Re:Good news, but we need some US court rulings 1s (2, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238563)

DrewTech developed some GPL code, and SAE said that they owned it and refused to release the source, and were charging money for it.

SAE gave up on their claims of ownership and released the source.


But did this involve an actual penalty or ruling from the court or was it settled ex parte (and thus not belonging to the body of US law)?

And also, was this a district court, state supreme court, federal court (e.g. 7th), or federal appeals court?

Work For Hire ? (2, Interesting)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238608)

Interesting.

Let us say Company A hires Developer B to come up with some data manipulation software, WidgetWare, for use inside Company A. If it works out, perhaps it will be repackaged and marketed.

Developer B immediately realizes WidgetWare is very similar to an abandoned GPL'd project from 3 years ago. Developer B, without Company A's knowledge, grabs the GPL'd code, makes lots of updates, then hands it over to Company A. Naturally the source is included, as it would be in a work for hire situation AND a GPL one.

Company A likes WidegetWare, so proceeds to re-market WidgetWare (perhaps as part of another, larger SuperWidgetWare2005 package) to the general public as proprietary code. No source included.

Who, if anyone, is at fault here?
Who, if anyone, should do something?

Does Company A get itself sued, and have its legitimate proprietary code exposed, over the GPL being entrained in the released code?

Re:Work For Hire ? (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238653)

Company B complied with the GPL, by making modifications and supplying source code to those who recieve the product.

Company A is not complying, because they're releasing the code against the terms of the GPL.

Assuming Company B was in compliance of the GPL, they would have had to disclose to Company A that the code was licensed under the GPL, and then recommend that Company A read up one what the GPL means.

Functionally, it's difficult to prove that Company B didn't notify Company A of the GPL origins of the code, and Company A would admit that they were aware of the GPL origins as soon as they denied to release the source code, upon being presented with the information that they are out of compliance with the GPL.

So, when person XY contacts company A and says, "Your product violates my IP rights, under the GPL, you need to comply, and release the source code."

If Company A says, "No, it's our code." They're immediately out of compliance.

hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238322)

is this the internet?

Re:hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238353)

Sorry, the Internet is just down the hall. Best of luck.

Re:hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238494)

No, the internets is down the hall. The Internet is in the other wing.

Re:hello (0, Offtopic)

Ithika (703697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238371)

You are new here...

Sveasoft (1)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238327)

I like their firmware, but will linksys please sue them. THey are clearly violating the GPL and GPL has won twice. I don't see how Sveasoft can win. They dont even supply sourcecode.

Re:Sveasoft (1, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238508)

They do supply source, but you have to pay for access - the scheme he has set up is valid, does not violate the GPL, only James does tend to be a little bit of a cry baby when his subscribers sell out and publish anyway. He cancels the account and bans the IP address of the offender (if he can figure it out, otherwise I think it's just a dart board approach with a list of random subscriber IP's) And he is (with proof) known to intimidate people with what amounts to threats of violence through email.

Not someone I would give money, but others do (for some odd reason)

Frosty Piste! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238328)

Frosty piste for alpine skiiers!
The GNAA rules.

Wait a second... (2, Funny)

selectspec (74651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238329)

Congratulations again to Welte and his attorneys!.

I'm all for GPL enforcement, but I'd just assume eat a copy of Windows XP before I'll congratulate an attorney.

Re:Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238357)

Why would you 'assume eat a copy of Windows XP'?

Re:Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238396)

Uh huh, just you wait till you need one you troll you.

Re:Wait a second... (3, Informative)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238412)

...but I'd just assume eat a copy of Windows XP...

I think you mean you'd just as soon eat a copy of Windows XP

Re:Wait a second... (1)

selectspec (74651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238490)

hmm. I wonder how many years I've been writing that phrase incorrectly. Maybe eating these operating system install CDs is a bad idea...

Re:Wait a second... (1)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238668)

Ha. Well, we understood what you meant, for all intensive purposes.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Re:Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238424)

I'm all for GPL enforcement, but I'd just assume eat a copy of Windows XP before I'll congratulate an attorney.

I'll laugh when you get a wreck on the way home today and go crying to one to help you.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238469)

Just because someone needs a lawyer, doesn't mean they like lawyers. Actually, I'd think its the other way around - I'm sure many people who have needed a lawyer hate them _more_ than those who don't.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238510)

I am sure you meant "just as soon" :P

Re:Wait a second... (1)

What me a Coward (875774) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238533)

Never assume anything! :D

Attorneys not good or bad, but amoral. (3, Interesting)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238611)

Please note, amoral (without morals), not immoral (with bad morals).

In other words, they'll defend the worst torturing serial killer with the same aplomb and indifference as they'll defend the most innocent child. It's in the nature of the profession, to do their utmost for their clients with total clarity and detachment.

It sounds good, but unfortunately, this is also why they prosecute 11-year olds and grannies on behalf of the RIAA.

If you're looking for morals and socially beneficial conduct, attorneys and their related legal brethren would not be the best place to start looking. An attorney with a personal agenda to do good (or bad) would be a corrupt attorney, unable to perform his legal duties fairly.

Like Open Source (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238713)

Open source software can aid Brazil in developing its IT infrastructure and training its citizens. Or it can be used by the Chinese government to spy on *its* citizens. Open source is developed according to aesthetic, not moral, judgements. Lawyers work the same way - a beautifully prepared case is still beautiful if it defends Adolf Hitler.

Preliminary Injunctions are not enforcement (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238347)

Call us when a case goes to trial and the GPL is upheld.

Re:Preliminary Injunctions are not enforcement (3, Informative)

wzzrd (545802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238511)

Okay, well I'm calling your ass right the hell now :)
Here [slashdot.org] you can find a Slashdot story about a German court ruling upholding an older injunction in a similar matter.
Now I'm not an expert on German law, but this sure sounds like a proper upholding in a trial to me.

Eternal Preliminary Injunction (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238567)

For a company, not being allowed to sell a product is one of the worst things that can happen.

Suing a company into following the GPL is tricky, since the company at any time could try to just say "Hey, look we just forgot to put the source code online, here is it". On the other hand, if they choose not to follow the GPL, there is no way to force them to do so except threatening to sue them for damages(!=following GPL) and getting an injunction.

What i want to know... (0, Offtopic)

Zate (687440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238348)

is why Slashdot is so slow at posting articles. i read about this stuff this morning from linux.com over on the side bar there.

Reason /. is so slow (4, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238409)

The story doesn't get posted on /. until someone is willing to trade sexual favors in exchange for getting their article published. As a result, there'll always be some lag time between when a story breaks and when it gets posted.

First, someone needs to notice it, and get emotionally involved.

Next, someone needs to care enough to trade sexual favors.

Then, someone actually has to shag one of the /. editors. (I hear this is the shortest step, and actually adds very little in terms of lag time)

Finally, the article gets posted for all the /. readers to enjoy.

I used to live in Munich! (1, Funny)

debilo (612116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238393)

Mod me up!!

I live in Munich! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238444)

Mod me up too!!

I ate a brought from Munich! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238504)

Mod Me up too!!

I've been to Munich! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238455)

Mod me up, too!!

Mod ME up, I can TYPE Münich (0, Offtopic)

Danuvius (704536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238546)

Though, to my shame, I have never been there. :-(

It's München you umbs (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238680)

If you knew German you'd know that ;)

Re:Mod ME up, I can TYPE Münich (3, Informative)

BadDoggie (145310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238711)

I'd mod you down if I could. It's "Munich" or "München" but not "Münich".

Yes, I live here (in MUC -- the city, not the airport). I'm not from here. See some of my earlier posts or the "journal".

Anyway, German courts are really screwy. A decision in one court does not necessarily influence another court at the same, higher or even lower level. Just because the high court in the state of Sachsen finds A, B and C, it doesn't mean that the Bavarian high court is bound to accept that as precedent.

Precedent don't mean dick here. Not even when the Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, similar to SCOTUS) hands down a decision. It's kind of freaky, really.

woof.

I got drunk in Munich! (1, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238609)

Mod me up too!

MOD SIBLINGS UP! Re:I used to live in Munich! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238688)

I've never been to Krautland.

Cute "Dept" Tag (2, Informative)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238430)

I'm assuming "weg" is pronounced "vay" in German?

Re:Cute "Dept" Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238505)

I'm assuming

You know what assuming does . . .

You must be new here.

No. (1)

Danuvius (704536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238521)

It is not. I am thus perplexed. ;)

Re:Cute "Dept" Tag (1)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238626)

Weg is the German word for way. Thus, Way to go.

*pop* goes the brain (2, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238437)

But, but, I thought Lawyers were BAD.

Here they did something GOOD.

*head explodes*

Re:*pop* goes the brain (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238645)

Lawyers are a necessary evil. "They" have lawyers, therefore "we" must have lawyers too, to defend ourselves. Of course, politics is dominated by lawyers, the rules are all slanted to make it impossible to accomplish anything without a lawyer get a percentage. (Tryed making out a Living Will without paying a lawyer?)

Re:*pop* goes the brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238662)

its because....

*American* lawyers are BAD

nice try (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238450)

but this needs to happen in a real court (a US one).

Re:nice try (2, Informative)

wzzrd (545802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238596)

It will, as soon as SCO vs. IBM is finally going to be ruled in. But then again, that trial is going to take slightly longer than oblivion. Beter make another cup of coffee if you want to sit that one out.

Before the naysayers say GPL is anti-business (4, Informative)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238472)

I'm not sure about the particular GPL'ed projects in question, but I know that a number of GPL'ed projects offer a GPL license and a Commercial license.

If you don't mind releasing source and contributing changes/improvements back to the community, you can use the code for free. But, if you want to create a closed-source/proprietary project, you can buy a license that allows it. MySQL does this [mysql.com] .

The GPL does not create an anti-business environment in and of itself. It merely a licensing option that can be part of a portfolio of licensing options developers make available to those who want to use their code.

- Greg

GPL, what is there to test? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238473)

If someone steals your GPL code, you sue them for *copyright infringement*. The only defense against that is if they can show they had a license to use your code. They are forced to show the GPL to save their ass, and then you nail them on the fact that they're not following the terms of the license they're pretending to use for their defense. What can go wrong?

This is How Open Source Damages Business (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238532)

SCO is right. The GPL is FUNDAMENTALLY about attacking and destroying companies and their employees. Amazingly enough many people still fall for the GPL "freedom" lie.

Re:This is How Open Source Damages Business (1)

ThomaMelas (631856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238593)

Would it be the same if the company had stolen code from say MS and lost?

Re:This is How Open Source Damages Business (2, Insightful)

Dareth (47614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238703)

Quoting the grandparent...

SCO is right. The GPL is FUNDAMENTALLY about attacking and destroying companies and their employees. Amazingly enough many people still fall for the GPL "freedom" lie.

GPL is a form of copyright, or rather a license to use some copyrighted code. If you do want to abide by the GPL you can write your own code, even if it does the exact same thing as code that is under the GPL license. Software patents on the other hand would prevent you from doing anything even remotely similar to the original code, if there even is code that implements the ideas of the patent!

Which one is more restricting?

Interpretation (5, Informative)

tobiasly (524456) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238537)

Funny how the FUDmeisters at C|Net translate the exact same story:

Shadow over open source
German court ruling halts shipments of one company's Linux wares; license spat could soon hit U.S
http://news.com.com/Linux+programmer+wins+legal+vi ctory/2100-7344_3-5671209.html?tag=nefd.lede [com.com]

Re:Interpretation (1)

baafie (765151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238685)

By that analogy, consider the following fictional article:

Shadow over Microsoft product usage

German court ruling halts shipments of Sitecoms distribution of Microsoft Windows; Microsoft claiming a license violation. End users are outraged over attempts to limit sharing of Microsoft products..

mmm... Yes!! (1)

smartsaga (804661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12238632)

The college I work for is about to buy some stuff from Fortinet... I wonder if they will give us a discount for this... ^_^

Your GPLed rights are belong to us... get it?

Have a good one!!!

Small companies beware! Large ones... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12238635)

It is nice that gpl-violations.org is enforcing the GPL when small companies have decided to blow off it's requirements. But shouldn't it apply equally regardless of the size of the company? Why does large [google.com] companies [dell.com] get to redistribute GPL applications while stripping off providing a copy of the GPL?
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