[linux-elitists] What would be the proper course of action for a possible GPL violation?

James Sparenberg james@linuxrebel.org
Wed May 14 21:53:14 PDT 2008


On Wednesday 14 May 2008 09:04:30 pm Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Wed, May 14, 2008 at 07:55:05PM -0700, James Sparenberg 
(james@linuxrebel.org) wrote:
> > All,
> >
> >    As some of you may have seen on slashdot there is an announcement that
> > all asus mobo's will in the near future contain built in splashtop Linux
> > desktop. Being the curious monkey I am.  I go to the site and start
> > looking for packages and source.  Just to see what it is I'm dealing
> > with.
> >
> >   Not only am I not finding a path to source, but I saw this page and the
> > following paragraph contained within.
> >
> > http://www.splashtop.com/aboutus-corporate.php
> >
> > <snip>
> > DeviceVM is releasing its first software product, Splashtop, in October
> > of 2007. Splashtop is a proprietary technology developed by DeviceVM that
> > provides users with a rapid-start alternative to the traditional
> > operating system.
> > </snip>
> >
> > Now before people start calling me alarmist.  I'm not trying to raise a
> > call to arms, and I do understand business.  What I'm looking for is the
> > proper method to follow to find the people able to assist DeviceVM in
> > working with GPL'd software, and complying with it's license.
> >
> > Suggestions?
>
> Well, you can first determine whether or not there is GPL violation.
>
> If the product ships with sources, they're covered by GPL v2 section
> (3)(a).
>
> If the product _doesn't_ ship with sources, then it must ship "with a
> written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party,
> for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source
> distribution, a cmoplete machine-readable copy of the corresponding
> source code", under GPL v2 section (3)(b).
>
> Section (3)(c) doesn't apply for commercially distributed works.
>
>
> You could post an inquiry as to which GPL v2 term applies to any GPLd
> sources in the product, such as the Linux kernel, and whether you could
> receive your (3)(b) machine-readalbe sources.
>
> If not, find a friendly copyright holder to a covered codebase and see
> about infringement.  The FSF will do this _for code to which they have
> been assigned rights_.  For the Linux kernel, I believe you'd want to
> talk to the Linux Foundation (if it still exists) or OSDL, though any
> copyrightholder in the credits will serve.
>
>     http://gplv3.fsf.org/wiki/index.php/Enforcement
>     https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/2007-11-29-lawsuits
>
> Note that in general, the FSF's approach is to send out a friendly
> letter.  Until the past several years, that letter alone was very, very
> successful.  With a string uf unsuccessful challenges to the GPL since,
> I'd think that any rational actor would do what they could at that point
> to come into compliance.
>
>
> Peace.

Karsten,

  Thank you that is what I was looking for.  A sensible course of action that 
allows all parties to come out winners.  thanks 

James




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