decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books


Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

You won't find me on Facebook


Donate Paypal

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

The German GPL Order - Translated
Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 06:51 PM EDT

A volunteer, Jens Maurer, has stepped up to the plate and provided us with a Groklaw translation of the recent Order in Munich validating the GPL. It is not an official court translation. Any errors are Groklaw's, not the court's, and obviously you should not rely on this layman's translation for legal matters. Our translator cautions that he is not a native English speaker, and he is a programmer, not in the legal field. He has provided, in colored text, some commentary to help us understand the judgment, but his comments are so we can follow along, but they are not legal interpretations or comments. You'd need an attorney for that. Our purpose is simply to get an idea of what the court's reasoning was, and I think you'll find that you can definitely grasp the overview. If others out there have contributions to make to refine, correct or supplement, particularly any attorneys, please feel free to do so.

What I find the most interesting is that in Germany too, just as here in the US, evidently a violation of the GPL terminates your rights granted under the license which results in you being guilty of copyright infringement, just as Eben Moglen has explained. Jens also points out something I would not have noticed without his help:

"One important observation is that the court referred to and endorsed a publication by 'Metzger/Jaeger', that very same Jaeger that served as counsel for plaintiff."

Following the translation of the Judgment, Jens has also done a translation of the pertinent German statutes. Again, the above disclaimers apply.


District Court München I

file number: 21 O 6123/04



In the legal dispute

Harald Welte, [address in Berlin]

- plaintiff -

counsel: Solicitors Jaschinski Biere Brexl [address in Munich] case id 131/04


S[itecom] Deutschland GmbH, represented by the CEO ... ([handwritten:] corrected by decision dated 9 July 04) [address near Munich]

- defendant -

counsel: Solicitors ...

concerning action for injunction

the 21. civil chamber of the District Court München I, by and through Presiding District Judge Kaess, District Judge Müller and District Judge Rieger, based on the oral argument on 19 May 2004, renders the following

[ Larger courts in Germany such as District Courts are organized in various "chambers". Division is by subject, so there are one or more chambers dealing with murder and other capital crime, one or more dealing with white-collar crime, etc. It is likely that the 21. civil chamber deals with copyright and related "intellectual property" rights exclusively and thus has a high level of knowledge in that area.]

Final Judgment:

["Final" does not mean that there is no possibility of appeal; it just says the District Court is done with the issue.]

I. The preliminary injunction of the District Court München I dated 2 April 2004, file number 21 O 6123/04, is confirmed.

II. The defendant also bears the further costs of the case.

[Germany has a "loser pays it all" system, and the "further" refers to the costs incurred since the preliminary injunction has been issued. The latter already had a "defendant bears costs" statement in it, but that could only cover the costs up to issuing the preliminary injunction.]


[The court recites the undisputed facts of the case. What follows appears to be copied from plaintiff's statements, because it has a lot of technical detail in it.]

Plaintiff asks defendant to restrain in connection with the distribution of a so-called open source software.

Plaintiff is a member of the open source project "netfilter/iptables" and as a so-called "maintainer" chiefly responsible for the development of the program. The goal of the project that was founded in mid-1999 by the Australian Paul "Rusty" Russell was to replace the outdated Linux firewall (ipchains) by a modern, future-directed and flexible architecture.

Since 2001, plaintiff is the maintainer of the four-people core team that operates the Internet platform "", makes all decisions about future directions of the software architecture, integrates the results of the other developers and issues the software packages.

The software "netfilter/iptables" consists of two components. The "engine", which handles the network packets within the kernel of the Linux operating system, and the configuration program, with which the administrator can set the security policies (so-called packet filter rules). The software "netfilter/iptables" is thus an integral building part of the widespread and economically important operating system GNU/Linux, known under the designation "Linux". Due to its complex tasks, the software "netfilter/iptables" has a significant size, currently 22775 lines of code within the Linux kernel and 32244 lines of code in the configuration program.

On the Internet platform, the software "netfilter/iptables" is offered for download in source-code form and made available to members of the team and others for further development.

The software "netfilter/iptables" --- as indicated on the Internet page --- is a Free Software that [can] be used by everybody under the conditions of the GNU General Public License (GPL) (attachment AS 5; AS 2.)

The license conditions provide, among others, for the following:

[What follows in the original are parts of the "unofficial" German translation of the GPL. I've put in the original English GPL wording here.]

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program. You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

2. ...

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

Defendant is the German subsidary of the Dutch company [Sitecom] Eurpope [sic].

The companies advertise and distribute through the website www.[sitecom].com networking products such as FireWire adaptors and cables, Bluetooth, USB adaptors, and WLAN routers (attachment AS 7).

The website "www.[sitecom].com" is displayed in German language when it is accessed from the Federal Republic of Germany. On the self-presentation accessible using the menu item "About [Sitecom]" only defendant as a company with address is named.

On the Internet pages, among others, the Wireless Network Broadband Router 100g+ (WL-122) is advertised and the contained firmware offered for download. On the website with the download of the software, there is also a German manual. The software available for download free-of-charge contains the software "netfilter/iptables" in object-code form, among others also the software modules "PPTP helper for connection tracking and NAT" and "IRC helper for connection tracking and NAT" that plaintiff programmed himself in their entirety.

On the website of the company s[itecom], as of 18 May 2004, there was neither a hint to the fact that the firmware also contains software that has been put under the GNU General Public License, nor a reference to the license text of the GPL or the source code of the software "netfilter/iptables".

With letter dated 18 March 2004, plaintiff demanded from defendant to restrain from the GPL violations (attachment AS 10.)

After exchanging additional letters between plaintiff and defendant (and/or their parent company) (attachments AS 10 - 13), when defendant refused to certify their future restraining, plaintiff filed suit on 1 April 2004 and requested issuance of a preliminary injunction.

The court, following the request, issued the following preliminary injunction:

1. Defendant is


under penalty ...

to distribute and/or copy and/or make publicly accessible the software "iptables/netfilter", without pointing to the licensing under the GPL and attaching the license text of the GPL and making the source code of the software "netfilter/iptables" available free of license fees, according to the conditions of the GNU General Public License, Version 2 (GPL).

2. Defendant bears the cost of the court proceedings.

3. The value of the dispute is set to 100000 EUR.

[In Germany, attorney's fees and the cost of litigation before the court are usually dependent on the "value of the dispute".]

Defendant appealed the preliminary injunction with a written motion dated 20 April 2004.

Plaintiff alleges:

The preliminary injuction is to be confirmed.

The demand results from par. 97 section 1 in connection with par. 69c no. 1-4 UrhG.

[UrhG is the abbreviation for Urheberrechtsgesetz, the German copyright law.]

Defendant has infringed on the copyright of plaintiff by offering the software "netfilter/iptables" for download and by advertising its distribution, without adhering to the license conditions of the GPL.

Said actions would only be permissible if defendant had a license grant. Since plaintiff licenses the software "netfilter/iptables" exclusively under the GPL, all use is forbidden unless it is GPL-conforming, because section 4 explicitly states that a violation of the GPL automatically causes a termination of the license grant. Thus, the GPL only provides for a license grant with conditional annulment, in accordance with par. 158 section 2 UrhG.

Since defendant has used the software "netfilter/iptables" in violation of the licensing conditions of the GPL, in particular by not giving a reference to the GPL and making the source code available, defendant has infringed the copyright of plaintiff.

This is independent of the questions whether the licensing conditions of the GPL have been effectively agreed upon between plaintiff and defendant or not. If the GPL were not agreed upon by the parties, defendant would notwithstanding lack the necessary rights to copy, distribute, and make the software "netfilter/iptables" publicly available.

[Here's the heart of the argument: Plaintiff claims that Sitecom doesn't have a valid license to copy and distribute. Sitecom could argue "we've never agreed to the GPL", but that just means that they have only the default rights, which don't include copying and distribution. Otherwise, they must adhere to the GPL, but they don't, so they've lost their rights.]

The distribution without reference to the GPL and without making available the source codes also infringes plaintiff personal rights as an author. Par. 13 UrhG in connection with par. 69a section 4 UrhG.

[Here's a different argument: They don't give credit where credit is due (the netfilter/iptables author), which has a special provision in German copyright law.]

Defendent is passively legitimized. This results from the Internet presentation. Independent of the question in which form defendant is indeed active, they have also interfered with plaintiff's copyright. Because they endorse making plaintiff's software publicly available, they are also responsible for the associated copyright infringement. Defendant is named as responsible on the website.

[This claim addresses the issue whether the German subsidary of Sitecom Europe is even the proper party to sue, because the website is maintained by Sitecom Europe. However, because only the address of Sitecom Germany is given on their German-language website, plaintiff claims they're nevertheless responsible.]

Preliminarily securing the rights of plaintiff in expedited litigation is necessary. In order to realize his demands, plaintiff cannot be referred to the regular procedures. Additional infringement of rights are feared that would irreparably harm plaintiff's interests, in particular regarding acceptance of authorship. Therefore, the copyright interests of plaintiff risk an immediate impairment; a decision in the regular procedures would arrive too late.

[Here is an argument why plaintiff needs a court decision as quickly as possible. I translated ["Hauptsacheverfahren" as "regular procedures", which means the usual court proceedings where lots of time passes.]

Plaintiff moves

to confirm the preliminary injunction dated 2 April 2004.

Defendant moves

to quash the preliminary injunction dated 2 April 2004, file number 21 O 6123/04.

Defendant alleges:

The preliminary injunction is to be quashed, because defendant is not passively legitimized.

The case has no merit. Defendant does not deal with distributing and/or copying and/or making publicly available of the software "netfilter/iptables". Defendant is a pure support company that does not entertain, has not entertained, and will not pursue independent copying and independent making publicly available.

The fact that the entity that distributes, copies, and makes publicly available is not defendant, but the company S[itecom] Europe BV, is known to plaintiff.

[Sitecom argues here that they are not the right party to sue, because they are just providing support, and plaintiff knows that.]

Since it has futher been advised that the website has been changed, it is obvious that the issue should be and will be resolved by the company S[itecom] Europe BV.

Therefore, a reason for the disposition is lacking. Urgency is not established.

[Here, Sitecom says that their parent company, Sitecom Europe BV, will fix the website, so there is no longer any reason to sue them or anybody else. That completes the main arguments of the parties, and now the court adds this reference to the papers before it:]

In completing the facts, refer to all letters exchanged between parties, including attachments and the minutes of the oral argument on 19 May 2004.


The preliminary injunction had to be confirmed, because both merits and reason for the disposition are established.

I. The merits for the disposition follows from par. 97, 69a, 8 section 2; 15 UrhG, because plaintiff is at least co-author to the software that is at issue in the dispute, and the usage that the plaintiff [sic, should be defendant] is responsible for is not covered by a license.

A. Being entitled to a disposition pertaining to par. 97 UrhG requires that defendant has not received usage rights for the software.

The court shares the opinion that the conditions GPL (General Public Licen[s]e) cannot be considered a waiver of copyright and authorship rights. To the contrary, conditions of copyright law serve the users to ensure and realize their goals regarding further development and distribution of software (see Dreier/Schulze UrhG par. 69a no. 11).

[This deals with the possibility that putting your software under GPL somehow means you have waived all your rights, i.e. made it public domain. I believe that is not possible in Germany in general, because you cannot actually transfer your copyright, but just grant (whatever broad and exclusive) licenses to it.]

[The citation here refers to a so-called "commentary", a large book that annotates each paragraph of a law, in this case the copyright law, with relevant court decisions and opinions of law people. These commentaries are frequently updated, and attorneys and judges often refer to these commentaries. Remember that Germany is not a common-law country, so other court rulings (except for rulings of the highest courts) do not set a binding precedent.]

Regarding an infringement of rights, two alternatives can be distinguished; first, that defendant has never received rights of use, and second, that the rights of use once received have terminated according to section 4 GPL.

Concerning the first alternative, it is imaginable that no effective agreement has been reached because of invalid general conditions of sale (par. 306 section 2 BGB [Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch = Civil Code]).

The differentiation between the two alternatives is practically impossible due to the way the software is distributed, thus, due to the form of the statement of plaintiff's claims, [the court] needs to determine for the first alternative as well whether the license conditions became part of the effective agreement or would have been able to become part of it, respectively.

Further, the court is of the opinion that the question whether defendant received object-related usage rights has to be decided according to German law (see BGH [Bundesgerichtshof = Federal Court of Justice, the highest civil and penal court in Germany] GRUR 1999, 152 - affaire in casinos.)

Whether this would also apply if the case concerned the question of a pure liability issue, the court need not answer, because it presumes, in accordance with the common opinion, that even a simple usage right is an object-related right (see Schricker, Urheberrecht, 2. ed., before par. 28 ff. no. 49; Dreier/Schulze UrhG par. 31 no. 52).

[More references to commentaries here, plus the funny legal word "object-related right" ("dingliches Recht" in German). I believe it means that the right is a separate entity that can be sold, lent, etc, it's not just some promise of future action between parties. More on that below.] A. The court considers the license conditions as general conditions of sale that are to be checked according to par. 305 ff. BGB.

1. First, the court has no doubts that the general conditions of sale have been effectively included into a potential contract between defendant and plaintiff, according to par. 305 section 2 BGB. On the Internet page, there is a reference to the conditions (attachment AS 2). The conditions are publicly accessible. Even though the German translation may not be official, there are no objections with regards to the official conditions being available in the English language only, given the fact that English is the common language in the computer industry. That is at least applicable if the contractual situation between the authors and a commercial software company is at issue.

The court is of the opinion that number 4 GPL, which provides for an automatic termination of rights upon violation against the provisions in number 2, does not inadequately disadvantage the contract partner of the user.

a) However, number 4 is not a permissible limitation of usage rights according to par. 31 section 1 sentence 2 UrhG.

According to par. 31 section 1 UrhG, usage rights can be limited geographically, temporally, or contents-wise.

According to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Justice, an object-related, and not only liability-related, subdivision of the right of redistribution (par. 17 section 1 UrhG) is only possible if there are usual, technically and economically independent and thus clearly delineateable forms of usage, due to the ensuing potential limitation of the fitness for sale of the copyrighted objects (BGH, GRUR 2001, 153-155 OEM version.)

[Here it gets tough. I believe the "OEM version" decision of the Bundesgerichtshof was in a case against Microsoft that looked like this: Alice sold Bob cheap so-called "OEM" versions of software with the provision that the software may only be resold together with hardware. Bob sold that software together with hardware to reseller Charly. Charly, in turn, kept the hardware, but resold the OEM software to end-user Dorothy. Alice sued Charly for copyright infringement, claiming that the provision only to resell the OEM software with hardware was somehow attached to the OEM software license itself, and Charly did not validly redistribute the software. The decision was that Charly did not infringe on Alice's copyright, because the OEM software was not sufficiently different in function or otherwise from the fully-priced software, Alice voluntarily sold some restribution rights to Bob, who sold them to Charly, and Charly did not have contractual relationships with Alice (only Bob did).

The underlying idea is that if you as the copyright holder decide to sell some of your rights (e.g. a non-exclusive right to use), you are not at liberty to limit the right that you sell in a way that would interfere with further resale of the right. You may have contracts with your sales partners, and you can sue them for breach of contract, but you cannot sue a third party that got a valid license from your sales partner for copyright infringement. ]

The regulations in number 2 GPL do not fulfil these preconditions (Metzger/Jäger, Open Source und deutsches Urheberrecht GRUR Int. 99, 839 ff.; Omsels Open Source und das deutsche Vertrags- und Urheberrecht in Festschrift für Hertin; Plaß Open Contents im deutschen Urheberrecht, GRUR 2002, 670 ff.)

b) The literature endeavors legal constructions in order to make the automatic termination of rights that is described in number 2 [GPL] legally effective also on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The literature suggests to assume only an object-related agreement with conditional annulment, that prescribes an automatic termination in case the licensee does not adhere to the contract duties (in particular Metzger/Jaeger, see above). The argument is that object-related legal transactions are in principle not adverse to conditions.

The court considers this construction compatible with par. 31 section 1 sentence 2 UrhG.

First a remark that the legal effects of a permissible limitation or an automatic termination upon violation of certain contract duties can both lead to the same legal consequences, because there is no ownership of usage rights in both cases and potential dispositions with third parties would be void due to lack of authority.

In principle, there is the danger that the solution with the conditions serves to circumvent the regulations of par. 31 UrhG in no small number of cases.

It is the opinion of the court that from par. 31 UrhG (new edition) does not follow that transfers of copyright-related usage rights with conditional annulment are excluded in general.

The question whether such a condition is legally permissible, i.e. implements a circumvention of par. 31 UrhG or not, is to be decided by reading the contract as a whole. The question is which effects the annulment condition could have on the fitness for sale of the rights or the (further modified) objects that the software has been applied to.

An essential consideration for the limitations on the object-related provisions for the usage rights is to maintain the fitness for sale of the rights, in particular in a multi-level vendor chain, so that not every violation against some duties results in the software being copied and/or distributed by unauthorized parties.

This danger only partially exists in the given contract construction. The conditions expressly state that license grants for third parties are not terminated as long as they accept and comply with the GPL.

The condition can limit the fitness for sale of objects with open source software. Insofar the distributor at the time of the production of copied objects was no longer permitted to do so, for example due to the termination of the rights, the doctrine of first sale cannot apply and the user purchases from a nonauthorized party. The regulations of par. 69 section 1 UrhG do not help the user, because par. 69 d UrhG presumes that the user is the owner of copyright-related usage rights (see Schricker/Loewenheim, Urheberrecht, 2nd ed., par. 69d Rn 4; Plaß, see above.)

As far as I understand, the "Erschöpfungsgrundsatz", which I translated as "doctrine of exhaustion", means that once you have voluntarily and validly sold a particular piece of your rights, for example the license to one copy of your software, you have exhausted your control over that particular piece, and the party that purchased that piece is free to do with it whatever it pleases. Here, you have given away the (non-exclusive) right to make copies, and thus you have exhausted your control over that particular right. However, if the license somehow terminated, there is no valid license grant any more, and thus the argument about no longer having control does not apply.] Since third parties can at any time obtain (or only obtain) the necessary usage rights from the author directly upon acceptance of the GPL, this aspect can be neglected.

In summing up, the consequences of a termination of rights predominantly affect only the contractor of the author, similar to a liability-based limitation, thus the fitness for sale of the rights is only marginally impaired.

Furthermore is to be considered that the effective offer does not expire upon a violation, but the violator can reacquire the rights at any time by acceptance of and compliance with the conditions. Thus, the automatic termination is not particularly severe for the violator (Omsels, see above.)

Since a third party can obtain the usage rights at any time, disregarding the fact that it received them from a nonauthorized party, the fitness for sale of the rights and the objects is only marginally affected by that condition. Further, the consequences of the termination apply mostly to the violator. Thus, the court opines that number 4 GPL does not constitute a circumvention of par. 31 section 1 sentence 2 UrhG.

c) Even if the objections regarding the permissibility of number 4 sentences 2 and 3 GPL applied, that would not cause number 4 sentence 1 GPL to become invalid. The clause would only be partially invalid, with the consequence that a violation of number 4 sentence 1 GPL would only have liability effects. 3. The court has no doubts about the permissibility of the conditions in number 2, 3 GPL.

The licensor is only required to redistribute the software that was made available to him free of charge in a form so that third parties can use the software. In addition, the legislator expressly recognizes the fundamental principle of open source software with the provision in par. 32 section 3 sentence 3 UrhG (see Dreier/Schulze UrhG par. 32 no. 80,81.)

4. Even if one were of the opinion that number 4 GPL or number 3 would not withstand a contents check according to par. 307 BGB as a whole, the court opines that it would be required to analyze in detail whether the contract as a whole would be invalid according to par. 306 section 3 UrhG. If the open development of the software is at risk due to the invalidity of the clause, and thus a fundamental principle of open source is affected, the court believes there are reasons to assume that no effective agreement has been reached, with the consequence that any use of the software is illegal.

B. The court considers the passive legitimation of the defendant to be sufficienly demonstrated.

The software at issue in the dispute can be accessed at the indicated Internet address. In the German version, only the company address of defendant is shown in the section "We about us". From the design, which defendant had to be aware of, it follows that the only named contact in the German-language area is defendant. The court opines that defendant must be considered responsible for all offers.

If the offer on the Internet page were to be considered accountable to the parent company, defendant would still interfere at least contributorily, because defendant supports the distribution of the software.

II. The reason for a disposition is accepted. Plaintiff cannot be burdened to accept the GPL-violating distribution of his software until a decision in the regular procedures. Serious disadvantages for defendant are not demonstranted and are also not discernible.

[The court not only agrees that plaintiff is right, it also agrees that a quick decision is necessary.]

III. The cost decision is based on par. 91 ZPO [Zivilprozeßordnung = rules of civil procedures]



Presiding District Judge

District Judge
District Judge

Translation of German Copyright Law

Paragraph 8: Co-Authors

(1) If several people have together created a work, whereas their contributions cannot be separately exploited, then they are co-authors of the work.

(2) The right to publish and to exploit the work belong to the co-authors as a whole; changes of the work are only permissible with the consent of all co-authors. A co-author may not refuse his consent to publication, exploitation, or change in bad faith. Each co-author is authorized to sue for infringement of the collective copyright; however, he can only demand payment to all co-authors.

(3) The revenue from using the work belongs to the co-authors according to their respective share in creating the work, unless the co-authors have agreed upon otherwise.

(4) A co-author can waive his share of the revenues. The waiver must be declared to all other co-authors. With the waiver, the other co-authors receive the share.

Paragraph 13: Recognition of Authorship

The author has the right of recognition of his authorship with regards to the work. He can determine if the work is to be marked with a mark of the author and which mark is to be used.

Paragraph 15: Usage Rights --- General

(1) The author has the exclusive right to exploit his work in tangible form, the right includes in particular

the right to copy
the right to distribute
the right to show in public

(2) The author has furthermore the exclusive right to publicly perform his work in intangible form (right of public performance.) The right of public performance includes in particular

the right of speech, display, and performance
the right of making publicly available
the right to transmit
the right of performance by audio or picture means
the right of performance by radio transmission and of the act of publication

(3) The performance is public if it is intended for a majority of members of the public. A member of the public is anybody who is not personally related to the one exploiting the work or the other people that the work is rendered or made available to.

Paragraph 17 section 1: Right to Distribute

(1) The right to distribute is the right to offer or make available the original or copies of the work to the public.

Paragraph 31 section 1 and 2: Granting Usage Rights

(1) The author can grant others the right to use the work in some or all manners (usage right). The usage right can be granted as a simple or exclusive right and can be limited geographically, temporally, or content-wise.

(2) The simple usage right allows the owner to use the work as permitted, without excluding the use by others.

Paragraph 32: Adequate Compensation

(1) The author is entitled to a contractually agreed upon compensation for granting usage rights and the permission to use the work. If the amount of the compensation is not determined, the adequate compensation is considered agreed upon. If the agreed upon compensation is not adequate, the author can demand consent to change the contract from his contract partner, so that adequate compensation is granted to the author.

(2) A compensation determined according to the common compensation rule (par. 36) is adequate. Otherwise, the compensation is adequate if it is according to what is common in the business considering kind and size of the usage right granted at the time of closing of the contract, particularly considering the duration and time of the use, and considering all circumstances.

(3) A contract partner cannot rely on an agreement that differs from the sections 1 and 2 to the disadvantage of the author. These rules also apply if they are circumvented by other means. However, the author can grant a usage right for everybody free of charge.

Paragraph 69a: Special Provisions for Computer Programs --- Object of Protection

(1) Computer programs in the sense of this law are programs in all forms including the design material.

(2) The protection granted applies to all forms of expression of the computer program. Ideas and principles that an element of a computer program is based on, including the ideas and principles for interfaces, are not protected.

(3) Computer programs are protected if they are individual works in the sense that they are the result of the proper creativity of the author. In order to determine the protection, no other criteria, particularly no qualitative or estetic ones, are to be considered.

(4) For computer programs, the provisions for language works are applicable, as long as this chapter does not provide otherwise.

Paragraph 69c: Acts Requiring Consent

The owner of the rights has the exclusive right to perform or authorize the following acts:

permanent or temporary copying, in part or in total, of a computer program with any means and in any form. Insofar as loading, display, running, transmission, or storing of a computer program requires a copy, those action require the consent of the owner of the rights; the translation, modification, arrangement, or other changes of a computer program and the copying of the resuls. The rights of those that change the program are not affected; any form of distribution of an original or copies of a computer program, including renting. If a copy of a computer program is sold in the European Union with the consent of the owner of the rights, the right of distribution is exhausted with respect to that particular copy, except the right to rent; the wire-based or wire-less public performance of a computer program including making available publicly such that members of the public have access from a location and at a time of their choice.

Paragraph 97 section 1: Entitlement to Restraining and Damages

(1) Anyone who illegally infringes upon the copyright or another right protected by this law can be asked by the party so harmed to remove the infringement, to restrain, if a danger of repetition exists, and to pay damages, if the infringer acted on purpose or by negligence. Instead of damages, the so harmed can demand the revenue that the infringer received by infringing the rights, and a statement what the revenue was.

Translation of German Civil Code

Paragraph 158 section 2: Conditions of Delay and Annulment


(2) If a legal action is performed upon a condition of annulment, the effect of the action ends when the condition is fulfilled; at that time, the previous legal situation is re-established.

Paragraph 306: General Conditions of Sale --- Consequences when not Included or Void

(1) If general conditions of sale have in total or partially not become part of the contract or are void, the contract remains otherwise in force.

(2) Insofar as the conditions have not become part of the contract or are void, the contents of the contract is according to the provisions of the law.

(3) The contract is void if keeping with it would cause undue burden on one of the parties of the contract, even considering the changes in section 2.

Paragraph 307: Contents Check

(1) Provisions of general conditions of sale are void, if they inadequately disadvantage the contract partner of the user in bad faith. Bad faith can also ensue if a provision is not clear and intelligible.

(2) In doubt, an inadequate disadvantage is to be assumed if a provision is contrary to fundamental ideas of the provision of the law that it deviates from limits substantial rights and duties that stem from the nature of the contract so that the aim of the contract is in danger

(3) Sections 1 and 2 and paragraphs 308 and 309 only apply to provisions in general conditions of sale that deviate from or amend provisions of the law. Other provisions can be void according to section 1 sentence 2 in connection with section 1 sentence 1.


The German GPL Order - Translated | 209 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here Please.
Authored by: Harry Clayton on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:03 PM EDT

Linux: There is no infringing code or Manuals.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic, Links, etc. go in this thread please
Authored by: Harry Clayton on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:06 PM EDT
Again, Thanks In Advance.

Linux: There is no infringing code or Manuals.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Troll Thread
Authored by: Harry Clayton on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:08 PM EDT
trolling, trolling, trolling
Get those hot grits boiling...

Linux: There is no infringing code or Manuals.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:16 PM EDT
This a really nice piece of work - an interesting read.

IANAL, however, there was an interesting programme on BBC
Radio 4 suggesting that (effectively) there is increasing
harmonisation of EU law. So this looks like a really
useful case, initially, for the 15 "old nations" but
eventuslly, if not now, for the other 10. I wonder about
EFTA and all the Berne convention lot?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - a couple of questions
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:27 PM EDT
Thanks for all of the work. It will be interesting to see how the translation of
the German lawyers matches up. It would also be interesting to have the language
edited into a US style decision, with of course comments form native German
speakers especially lawyers.

I do have one question;

Does the EU have something like the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of
the US Constitution? That clause requires the States to recognize and enforce
the laws and especially legal judgments of the other states.

Could this judgment be used to get a local judgment against the European parent.
Apparently at least one argument was the the parent was responsible and the the
plaintiffs should go after them instead of the local German subsidiary.


"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Till Jaeger
Authored by: autosepha on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:43 PM EDT
Till Jaeger, the plaintiff's lawyer in this case, is also one of the driving
forces behind the "Institut für Rechtsfragen der Freien und Open Source
Software" (roughly translated "Institute for Legal Issues of the Law
of Free and Open Source Software"), see

[ Reply to This | # ]

Twenty Three Times...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 07:56 PM EDT
The German ruling refers to the word "contract"
twenty three times by my count. I believe the
the GPL is a contract just like the poster "gumout"
said it is.

Less Confused

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: rongage on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 08:11 PM EDT

For our German friend, I have but one thing to say....

Vielen Dank

Ron Gage - Linux Consultant
Pontiac, Michigan

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: John Hasler on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 08:51 PM EDT
It's interesting that the court appears to see a public policy interest in
upholding the GPL.

[ Reply to This | # ]

GPL as an offer - in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:00 PM EDT
If I read this decision correctly, the German court decision had three main

* If the defendent accepted the offer in the GPL to form a valid contract, and
violated the contract, then rights under the GPL were automatically forfeited,
so the defendent had no permission to distribute the GPL'd code.

* If the defendent did not accept the offer, or the GPL is invalid, the
defendent had no permission to distribute the GPL'd code.

* In either case, the defendent infringed the copyright.

It is also interesting that the court said that the GPL could be reinstated by
abiding by its terms.

I have long contended that the GPL could be interpreted as containing a public
offer which is accepted by distributing a GPL'd program. I now think that
interpreting the GPL as a pure license with conditional permissions is a better
way of interpretation. However, the German court appears to agree with the
interpretation of the GPL as license plus an offer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Eben Moglen RULES!
Authored by: arch_dude on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:05 PM EDT
This ruling really demonstrates the depth of the GPL. The
fundamental principle of the GPL is that it depends on copyright law. The GPL
permits the user to use the software in ways that would otherwise be prohibited
by copyright law.

The real power here is that the GPL works in all jurisdictions that enforce any
kind of copyright law. It does not depend on any particular jurisdictions's
copyright law.

In the instant case, the judge quotes a lot of complex detail about German
copyright law that differs from US law, but it does not prevent the GPL from
working. Beautiful.

Think about how hard this is:
A contract is between to parties who know each other and who both sign the
contract. Thus a contract can specify the laws which govern the contract.

A license is a unilateral declaration by a party (such as a copyright holder)
that permits any unknown party to do things that would otherwise be prohibited
by law. The GPL manages to accomplish this without regard to the specifics of
the copyright law in question. Eben has managed to craft a license that works

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: arch_dude on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:12 PM EDT
That's an amazing piece of translation. I'm not sure that a lawyer could do
better, unless the lawyer had studied law in both Germany and the US. Clearly
there are FOUR languages at issue:
--Legal German
--Legal English

My guess is that some things simply cannot be translated from legal german to
legal english.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Meine Hochachtung
Authored by: m_si_M on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:35 PM EDT
Jens, I thought about doing a translation myself, but decided not do so, because
I'm neither a geek nor a lawyer.
Whatever the professional lawyers will publish, I appreciate your courage and
the Herculean work you have done!

And for English native speakers, "Hochachtung" means admiration.


[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: brian on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:35 PM EDT
It's amazing the HUGE difference between the German courts
and the courts we have here in the US. Most telling I
think (IANAL and all) is this...

"[ Larger courts in Germany such as District Courts are
organized in various "chambers". Division is by subject,
so there are one or more chambers dealing with murder and
other capital crime, one or more dealing with white-collar
crime, etc. It is likely that the 21. civil chamber deals
with copyright and related "intellectual property" rights
exclusively and thus has a high level of knowledge in that

Now if we did that here I wonder how many of the flim-flam
cases we have here would evaporate. It would be loads
harder to pull the shenanagins that SCO is pulling if the
judges they had to appear in front of were well versed in
the area of the law that they were using to fight the case
with.(<DEEP BREATH AFTER THAT RUNON>) As PJ has said, law
firms specialize so I don't see any reason that judges
shouldn't either...


#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL

[ Reply to This | # ]

yay for netfilter! what about nmap?
Authored by: phirephly on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:51 PM EDT
we raised this question about a month ago, but didn't really get an answer...

SCO came out with new products after nmap's author explicitly forbid them to use their software in their "OS". Did SCO still include this software (and intentionally violate the license and copyrights)? Does anyone use this at work or have access to a box where they could check it? If so, I hope nmap has the resources to litigate this and in a timely manner. This would seem like another easy win against SCO if they're intentionally breaking laws. In my response to the original thread, I quoted and linked to the original license revocation at for anyone that wants to see it themselves. Thanks community!

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: chaz_paw on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 09:53 PM EDT
Thank you very much for your hard work, Jens.

IAFTL- I am finally trying Linux.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Newsforge has comments from Welte..
Authored by: brian on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 10:12 PM EDT

From This Newsforge article you can see why Welte started this suit. It was just listed there...

Welte said that the FSF's approach to GPL violations is to approach companies that have been found violating the GPL and quietly negotiate with them to stop violating the GPL on their current product to little public fanfare or scrutiny. He said the FSF's approach has caused many such cases to go completely unnoticed.

With the system the FSF is using, said Welte, companies have no incentive to stop violating the GPL. If a company violates the GPL and negotiates with the FSF to stop, by the time they agree to stop the product is done and they're gone on to the next one -- which could also violate the GPL. Then they can go through the whole process again without really losing much.

I can see why he did it himself if in fact that is the way FSF handles these issues.


#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thanks Pamela
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 10:17 PM EDT
Pamela, thank you for your international coverage. It is wonderful to see our
best foot put forward to the eyes of the world and to see the world answering in
kind or perhaps as an example we can aspire to.

This is powerful stuff, we now know names of freinds in far off places as well
as those who are struggling to learn how to respect their relationship with the
authors of GPL code.

This is powerful stuff, we can feel foreign notions of justice resonating within

This is powerful stuff, those who would abuse the GPL must reconsider the notion
of no monetary penalty can be imposed for violating a license to source code
they obtain for free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Thanks Harald! - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 10:06 AM EDT
  • Thanks Harald! - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT
OT: Return to ELFland
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 10:53 PM EDT
I had a look over 157-28-G, which is the lines of Linux, from non-IBM contributors, that SCO claimed on April 19th in response to the March 3rd Order. (AFAIK they did not include these files in their response to the December 12th order)

There are a whole bunch of files in there (in two separate sections) containing ELF in the file name.

From a quick glance, and without looking at the files, they appear to claim these entire files

As to how it is supposedly derived from something SCO purports to own, they simply say SCO is the owner of the source code and/or documentation from which these lines are copied and/or derived.

And they acknowledge distributing these files themselves, claiming they did so before they "knew" they infringed their intellectual property.

In other words, two of the key points in the ELF discussion, appear to be solved:

(1) IBM knew about the ELF claim when IBM filed their Partial Summary Judgement motion*

*Of course we don't know whether SCO has tried to add new facts about why they claim these files in the affidavits accompanying their opposition

(2) SCO has distributed these files themselves under the GPL, and acknowledges that they have.


[ Reply to This | # ]

German Law - Precedents
Authored by: TZak on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 12:42 AM EDT
Calling all German legal experts.

As the translator Jens Maurer pointed out, Germany is not a Common Law country,
and therefore individual judge's decisions do not set binding precedent.

Does this mean that in the future German courts will not start with the
presumption that the GPL is valid? Is there some sort of legal review process
whereby judge's rulings are integrated into the "commentary" volumes
discussed in this case?

show me the million lines of code

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: Anonymous Coward on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 02:13 AM EDT
The judge only tripped over one thing.

The licensor is only required to redistribute the software that was made available to him free of charge in a form so that third parties can use the software.

That is not what the GPL says. The most common result of how the GPL works is indeed that code and program are 'sold' atmost for cost of making a copy available but it is not mandatory.

Also nice to see that the judge noticed the poison pill in the GPL (section 4 of the comments).

[ Reply to This | # ]

What exactly was the violation??
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 02:27 AM EDT
I am extremely confused here. Can someone please explain this to me?

What exactly was the violation? Was it that they were simply distributing the
vanilla version netfilter on their website in object form? The simple remedy to
that would be to just add a link to the source code on the netfilter site and
another to the GPL, right? Of course, I can understand everything if this was
meant to be a direct head-on challenge to the GPL itself.

Or, did they change netfilter and were distributing their own version of it with
their changes without source code?

If the first scenario, what is the big deal? Did the netfilter team write them
a letter to comply and they didn't, and then the lawsuit started? Or did the
netfilter team just sue without any sort of notification, kind of like SCO with

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: photocrimes on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 08:43 AM EDT
If someone has pointed this out already, I'm sorry for bringing it up again but
I feel it is a very important point.

If you remember the thrust of Microsoft's FUD about the GPL being "a
cancer" they claimed that once you licensed your code under the GPL you
have given up all of your rights and the code is now pretty much public domain.
We of course screamed "wrong" to this and as I have stated, and many
others, the copyright holder is still the "owner" of the code and may
license it in any fashion he/she wants. Just because the coder picked the GPL as
one way to license a program he/she still has the right to license it to another
party under different terms(this assumes of course they haven't assigned
copyrights over to the FSF).

This ruling appears to state that quite clearly here:

Said actions would only be permissible if defendant had a license grant. Since
plaintiff licenses the software "netfilter/iptables" exclusively under
the GPL, all use is forbidden unless it is GPL-conforming, because section 4
explicitly states that a violation of the GPL automatically causes a termination
of the license grant. Thus, the GPL only provides for a license grant with
conditional annulment, in accordance with par. 158 section 2 UrhG.

Notice the first line. Had the copyright holder struck a deal with netfilter
under another license term they would of been allowed to release their product
free of the GPL restrictions.

The GPL permitted them "free" use of the product as long as they
agreed to the terms of the GPL. Had they not agreed to the terms they would have
had to work out some other agreement with the copyright holder. Had the
copyright holder been willing to do that, I'm sure it would of been a license
requiring payment for use(As in money).

This seems a very way to debunk the FUD from proprietary vendors. The simple
solution to GPL'd software is for them to either not use it, or pay the
copyright holders for the use of their code outside of the GPL(If they are even
willing to do that).

It seems to me someone here wants a free ride, and it's not the opensource


//A picture is worth a thousand words//

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCO shifting sands, Part 2856
Authored by: belzecue on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 09:04 AM EDT
Two new 'business as usual' press releases from SCO today... nothing interesting, but look here:

LINDON, Utah, Jul 26, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The SCO Group, Inc. ("SCO") (Nasdaq: SCOX), the owner of the UNIX(R) operating system and a leading provider of UNIX-based solutions, today announced...

... but in the very next release, put online at the same time, note this subtle variation:

LINDON, Utah, Jul 26, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The SCO Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOX), owner of the UNIX(R) UnixWare operating system and a leading provider of UNIX-based solutions, today announced

Has The Open Group finally slotted in their fang dentures and threatened to pull SCO's certification if they continue to violate their trademark terms of use?

Is it a gradual transitioning of wording, soon to replace the "we own everything" attitude?

Or is SCO simply laying some groundwork to cover their rear ends in court: "No, Your Honour, we can prove that we didn't ALWAYS refer to UNIX as a single operating system owned by us!"


[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Press Release - Monday am
Authored by: MikeA on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 09:17 AM EDT
SCO Names Sandy Gupta as Vice President of Engineering

"owner of the UNIX® UnixWare operating system"
..that's a change.

Wolfgang Bauer will retire from SCO on July 31, 2004

Change is merely the opportunity for improvement.....
but I can't think of a better signature yet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Finest Legal Minds
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 10:09 AM EDT
I guess people are right about the GPL being
reviewed by the finest legal minds.

Here is an exchange between Richard Stallman
and Micheal Davis distinguished Professor
of Law at Clevland State University.

It should be required reading for experts on the GPL.

This should shed some light on things.
I think there is a reason why people don't want
to call the GPL a contract.

Less Confused

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Explain this about Mr Gupta
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 10:35 AM EDT
I know when the issue of Sontag etc., (SCO officers, directors, employees) producing affidavits on the source code comparisons involving AIX have come up:
  1. Some people pointed to the addendum to the protective order.
  2. Other people have commented, along the lines of SCO has had some sort of access to earlier versions of AIX (left over from Monterey) outside the case...

    To these Other people - Explain this:

    1. SCO press release, July 26th 2004

    Gupta joined SCO in 1996 to work in the ISV engineering group. He worked with strategic ISV partners such as Progress, Oracle, Computer Associates, etc., on their ports to SCO UNIX platforms. Subsequently he moved to SCO UK Escalations group and led the 24x7 Enterprise Escalations engineering effort. He also led the SCOx eCommerce and Web Services initiatives. Over the last few years Gupta conducted the UnixWare development effort in SCO's Murray Hill, New Jersey Development Center as senior director of UNIX engineering.

    2. IBM-110 Addendum to Protective Order
    In ongoing discovery, SCO has sought from IBM source code for the AIX and Dynix operating system (collectively "Source Code"). The Source Code contains, among other things, source code that is subject to third-party confidentiality obligations, including code for which IBM may owe obligations to Computer Associates International, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and predecessors in interest ("Computer Associates"). Some of the Source Code that has been identified as being subject to such confidentiality obligations includes code developed by Locus Computing Corporation ("Locus") and code for the Dynix operating system developed by Interactive Systems Corporation ("Interactive"). The obligations of confidentiality owed to Computer Associates with regard to the aforementioned Source Code arise from a series of acquisitions and/or changes of control whereby Computer Associates became successor-in-interest to Locus and Interactive. IBM, Locus and Interactive, respectively, entered agreements that obligated IBM to maintain the confidentiality of the foregoing Source Code.

    Computer Associates considers the Source Code to be highly confidential. Because of its confidentiality, and because of the competing business interests between SCO and Computer Associates, SCO has agreed that, with respect to any Source Code that is provided to SCO by IBM in this lawsuit, it shall be produced to SCO on an outside attorneys' eyes-only basis. Accordingly, the Source Code may be disclosed to SCO's outside counsel of record in this lawsuit, but shall not be disclosed to anyone else, including without limitation any of SCO's officers, directors or employees, including SCO's in-house counsel. Computer Associates has agreed that outside experts who are not otherwise affiliated with SCO and outside counsel may review the Source code. SCO further agrees that outside counsel and/or any experts who review the Source Code will not utilize this software for any development purposes, and will limit their review and use of the software to issues relevant to the present litigation.

    3. IBM206 (pp85 using page numbers in the foot of the page)

    Another example of the results of SCO's comparison of source code is the copying of the journaled file system (JFS) module in IBM's successive later versions of AIX into Linux 2.6. Id.
    Id. appears to refer to Gupta Aff 3-86

    IANAL IMHO etc

    [ Reply to This | # ]

Look at the global Sitecom site !
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 10:56 AM EDT
Go to, and have a look.
It's equal on german and british site.
support -> drivers and manuals
product group: wireless networking
product: WL-122
search ->

or in german
support -> treiber und anleitungen
produktgruppe: wireless networking
produkt: WL-122
suchen ->

you will find:

"WL-122 Wireless Broadband router 100g+
Firmware Source code GPL
Note that these downloads are completely unnecessary
unless you plan to do programming to alter the code"

1.Obviously, publishing it on english site, Sitecom is not willing to test the
validity of GPL under the "common-law"

2.They are somehow still not convinced regarding the necessity to attach the
source code to the GPL-ed software

I think, legal cases like this one are necessary to force understanding of GPL
in business area and stop or limit useless discussions about its validity.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The German GPL Order - Translated
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 12:53 PM EDT
Isn't it interesting that the German court ruled EXACTLY as Eben Moglen has
predicted any court would rule, on EVERY issue the court addressed.

* The GPL does not need to function as a contract to be valid (you don't need
to accept it first in order for it to be enforcable).

* The GPL does not conflict with Copyright law.

* The GPL is a license that allows you activities otherwise prevented by
copyright, and without that license, copyright law applies.

* The redistribution terms of the GPL license are revokable (section 4 is
valid), and if you don't abide by the terms, your revoked license no longer
allows you any rights beyond copyright law.

* A revoked license can be instantly restored by accepting and abiding by the
license terms.

BTW: very well-done article. The translation is readable and understandable to
a native (American) English-speaking person. The translated relevent portions
of German copyright law was a big plus. It helped put the whole issue in fine

I'm also impressed with the German copyright law, and their court system. I
particularly liked the idea that they seem to have specialized courts
well-versed in the subject matter of the issues that court deals with. I also
like the fact that German copyright law specifically exempts software interface
code. From what I've seen the German law seems to be a MUCH better balance
between private and public interests compared to American law. No wonder they
told SCO "put up or shut up" so quickly, and have been able to make it

[ Reply to This | # ]

M$ OEM vs. GPL
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 26 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT
Haha, seems like the German court rules that GPL is less viral than M$ OEM.
(Regarding third party rights).
I hope this catches on with US judges too.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )