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

simo simo.sorce at
Tue Oct 24 15:56:49 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 16:36 +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 10:39 -0400, simo wrote:
> > On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 13:44 +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > > AFAICS, you're just restating the inverse of what I said - you can't sue
> > > anyone outside the 2 month window.
> > 
> > No, notifying is not going to tribunal and sue, they are two very
> > different steps.
> "Sue" doesn't necessarily mean take legal action (else peacemaking would
> be a judicial process in English); but in any case, you're reading too
> narrow a meaning into my words. We mean the same thing - if you haven't
> heard within two months, your legal worries are over. That is the point
> I think is an important improvement in GPLv3.

This is definitively a very good thing. It will give legal certainty to
the "goods" that made a venial mistake, while keeping in full force the
ability to prosecute hardcore violators.

I think we agree on this point completely.

> > Remember you are not required to release the keys if you really don't
> > want to, you can also just stop distribution, and that's a good enough
> > remedy under the GPL.
> Not necessarily - it's not up to the GPL, it's up to the author. The
> current GPL doesn't limit damages in situations where the agreement is
> broken, as far as I know. The aforementioned 60-day rule is the first
> time such a limitation has been built into the licence.

Damages are a different thing, I was just telling how you can get back
into compliance. Stopping to distribute is a lawful way to comply with
the GPL (and v. hard too if you think of a business). Damages can be
negotiated privately or in court, but I'm not sure a judge will let you
necessarily extort the keys as part of the settlement, the Judge may
decide that a bunch of $$ is enough.

That said I think there is no difference in this with GPLv2.


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