[linux-elitists] questions about GPL again

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Mar 10 04:21:32 PST 2012

Attempting to elaborate, and get more directly to Eugen's concern:

Quoting Eugen Leitl (eugen at leitl.org):

> I'd rather like to be able to cut through the FUD authoritatively.

Meaning no criticism whatsoever, of Eugen, he didn't exactly say what
specifically the recalcitrant faction at his firm think the problem
scenario might be (except that it involves 'we have to opensource 
everything touched by GPL').   That makes it difficult to address, beyond
pointing out that forced relicensing of another copyrighted property
cannot ever be cajoled out of any court, as that is simply _not_ a
remedy for (hypothetical) copyright violation, period.

So, as I detailed, the _particular_ fear of a non-existent remedy being
imposed for copyright violation is rubbish.  Doesn't happen, and the
people who assert that it do have failed to understand civil litigation.
However, the remaining question is:  What's the risk of copyright
violation, given that the _real_ possible remedies of court-ordered
cessation of infringement and paying some monetary damages aren't much
fun, either?

The intended scenario might be:  GPL-covered binary permitted merely to
run on same machine as precious company proprietary jewel code does.
E.g., porting over said precious company proprietary jewel codebase to
run natively on the GPLv2-covered Linux kernel and LGPLed glibc.  If
that's the scenario, the quick answer is:  How 'bout that Larry Ellison
guy?  Must be a really reckless guy, and going to be in horrific trouble
any day, now.  {crickets}

The intended scenario might be:  precious company proprietary jewel
codebase using BSD-licensed access libraries to reach
GPLv2-with-linking-exception MySQL.  If that's the scenario, the quick
answer is:  How 'bout that ubiqituous LAMP stack?   Must be about to
about to collapse in a Ragnarok of everyone suing everyone else.

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