GPL lawsuit in Germany

Joerg Schilling schilling at
Thu Jan 24 23:19:46 UTC 2002

>From joao at Thu Jan 24 23:32:34 2002

>On Qui, 2002-01-24 at 22:17, Joerg Schilling wrote:
>> He said, that to have a valid contract, there is a need that both
>> parties aggree in the contract which is not the case for the GPL.
>> So if the abuser tells you that he never aggreed in GPL and that
>> he _knows_ that is is using th eprogram in an illegal way, this will
>> help him in the lawsuit.
>This is a common misunderstanding. GPL is not a contract, it's a
>copyright license. That means that unless the company accepted it they

I know this, but but if the person does not accept the license agreement, then
he is using the code in an illegal way. The Copyright Law (sorry this is 
a really bad word, but there is no corrert translation in English available.

To make it easier the German name is "Urheberrecht" and I translate it to
"Authorship right".

If someone abuses your code you may sue this person and will get you right in a 
way so the abusing person hast to give you money later (enforced by the court).
This is because you cannot enforce a license agreement if not both parties
agreed on it.

>couldn't modify your code (assuming that Germany has more or less the
>same definition on copyright than the rest of the western world).

Depends.... If you don't count the USA as belonging to the western world
you are right.

>Please give a copy of Eben Moglen's "Enforcing the GPL" articles to your
>lawyer ( Eben Moglen will, probably,
>be very interested in the case. Contact him (FSF can help there) and try
>to get him and your lawyer in touch.

Let me check this later, it is too late now......


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