FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process
Alfred M. Szmidt
ams at gnu.org
Mon Feb 13 19:49:49 UTC 2006
> This is different, netfilter had presumable only a single
> copyright holder (or a few), Harald Welte.
It has many contributors. While Harald is only suing for his
specific parts of code, on a practical level, there's enough of his
code in the core Netfilter to make it practically unusable if it
were to be removed.
Well, it is a bit different in the case of Netfilter, Haral probobly
wrote most of the bits, it is kinda hard to claim that FOO wrote most
of the bits for Linux.
> This isn't the case with the whole of Linux. For each infginged
> part, you would have to figure out who the copyright holder is,
> and ask them to sue. Something that is infact a practical
If you're talking about getting *every* copyright holder to sue,
then I agree. But you don't need everyone, only a few key people
who have code dotted all over the place. Let's say, for example,
Alan Cox sued. He has code (and by inference, copyright) throughout
many parts of the kernel. To remove his code, and his code only,
and still have a usable kernel, being realistic, I can't see it
Maybe, maybe not. One would also have to prove that Alan Cox wrote
the changes he claims to have written, since older Linux versions do
not have a detailed ChangeLog this is hard (and I strongly doubt Alan
can remeber each line he wrote, I can't even vouch that I wrote some
files on my computer, which have my named attached!). Should be
easier nowadays with a VCS and those write-of's.
=46rom memory, at least one has gone to court, at least to a
preliminary injunctive stage. I don't know the specifics of how
things ended, except that the company in question relented,
released the modifications under the GPL and made some payments to
someone somewhere as redress. the details are, I'm sure, available
on gpl-violations.org if you're interested.
I couldn't find them, the web page seems a bit adhoc. :-( Does anyone
have a direct link?
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