Misunderstanding GPL's terms and conditions as restrictions

Antonio Olivares olivares14031 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 28 04:10:27 UTC 2008

> > One of the problems with the GPL is that people can
> violate it and
> > then when they see themselves corraled, they can say I
> will release
> > the code and be clear.
> This is simply not true.  When people violate the GPL, they
> lose their
> license to further modify or distribute the program.  They
> depend on
> the copyright holders to reinstate the license.  If the
> copyright
> holders refuse to do that, no more modification or
> distribution rights
> for the infringer.
What if the bad guys already made a great deal of money and then they declare themselves bankrupt?  
What happens if these guys go to another country and cannot be found?

They have already taken advantage of the free code available and make their own proprietary programs and not give anything bad.  This is what people mean when they say that the GPL cannot be enforced.  Sure people can sue, but what guarantees them that the courts will rule in their favor?
> Now, it is common for copyright holders to be happy to
> accept outcomes
> such as this, because it fulfills the very purpose of the
> (presumably the reason why they chose it in the first
> place): to
> ensure that all users can have their freedoms respected,
> some of which
> require access to the source code.
> > There are no consequences.
> Someone who thought that depriving others of these freedoms
> was key to
> one's business would surely disagree.  Add costs of
> legal proceedings
> and it may become even more serious.  And then, nothing
> stops
> copyright holders from demanding more from the infringers,
> but that
> wouldn't be in line with the reasoning that often leads
> to licensing
> under the GPL, and it might very well backfire in the long
> run, if it
> scares businesses away from the GPL.  We already have
> enough FUD, no
> need to make room for even more.
This is very true but unfortunate.  Businesses and developers need something that will protect them and make the abusers pay.  
> -- 




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