article on GPLv3, Linux kernel, and Devices Rigged to Malfunction

Ben Finney ben at
Tue Oct 24 12:50:30 UTC 2006

On 24-Oct-2006, Alex Hudson wrote:
> I don't think anyone can sensibly argue that the requirement to
> publicise a shared secret code/key is not a term primarily concerned
> with post-violation compliance.

It's more to do with being explicit about what is required when
redistributing the licensed work. If that leads to violations, that's
up to the party doing the violating.

I'm having trouble thinking of a license with terms that are more
concerned with "pre-violation compliance", for comparison.

> I don't think it's a big assumption to say the number of people
> designing secret systems that they know are going to be publicised

Note that they don't need to "publicise" it; they just need to ensure
the recipient has all the freedoms to the software that they did when
*they* received it.

> has to be pretty small compared with the number of people who would
> have to later open a closed system.

If they distribute the work as a "closed system", then they violate
the terms of the copyright in the work. They know this before they
distribute (or they haven't understood the license terms, which is no

They can choose to comply by *not* doing so in the first place, which
I suppose you could call "pre-violation compliance". I'm not seeing a
problem that needs fixing in this scenario.

 \        "I went to the hardware store and bought some used paint. It |
  `\                   was in the shape of a house."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben at>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 197 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list