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Copyright violation, not GPL violation | 197 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Copyright violation, not GPL violation
Authored by: DannyB on Friday, September 14 2012 @ 01:28 PM EDT
Just to pick nits, but really hoping to learn more.

Isn't any license violation really a copyright violation?

The rights owner can license those rights in various ways and combinations, for
various compensation.

You exercised some right (copied, derived, distributed, etc) that is reserved to
the copyright owner exclusively by law.

The question now is whether you did so with or without a license.

I'm thinking that it is without a license. Even if you supposedly accept the
GPL (and then violate its conditions), you have no license. The GPL expressly
invalidates your license if you breach its terms.

This is the argument that, I think, Eben Moglen made some years ago. You sue
over copyright infringement. You don't need to mention the GPL. "Judge,
he infringed my copyright, make him stop!"

It is then up to the defendant to bring up the GPL and claim they had a license.
At which point, you point out clauses 4 and 5 (if using GPL v2) and say they
don't have a license.

Therefore, it's copyright infringement.

If it isn't copyright infringement, then the only other thing it could seem to
be is breach of contract -- but the GPL is not a contract. Just a bare
license.


---
The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Copyright violation, not GPL violation
Authored by: jjs on Friday, September 14 2012 @ 05:50 PM EDT
Correction, there is no such thing as a GPL violation.
There is copyright violation. GPL is a license to allow you
to do certain things that copyright forbids, provided you
agree to the actions GPL requires. If you do not do those
(make the source available, etc), you no longer have a
license, and are thus in violation of the copyright.

Same as taking Oracle software, copying into your product
without paying Oracle for the license, and then selling the
resulting product. Except the GPL is easier to come into
compliance with.

---
(Note IANAL, I don't play one on TV, etc, consult a practicing attorney, etc,
etc)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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