GPL enforcement: waiting for the Monsoon
Posted Sep 26, 2007 18:51 UTC (Wed) by vmole
Parent article: GPL enforcement: waiting for the Monsoon
From the outside, this case does not have the look of a deliberate attempt to ignore the GPL. Instead, it looks like a small company which found free software useful in the creation of its product and which put the GPL-compliance part of the job - if it really even understood its obligations in that regard - on the back burner.
I call BS on this. It's not 1991. Developers know when they're using GPL code. They might not be up on the fine legal points, but the source distribution requirements are fairly clear and widely discussed. The whole "Yes, we're using Linux but you're not allowed to look at it" argument is hardly an innocent mistake. If the immediate response had been "Oops, sorry, it'll be on our FTP site in the morning", I might buy "it was a mistake" argument. Ignoring e-mails from the developers until the lawsuit was filed pretty much rules that out.
I used to work for a small company (5 people, 3 technical). Our main product was proprietary, but we shipped some adjunct tools that were under GPL and other copyleft licenses. Putting the (yes, modified) source for those on the CD was just part of the build procedure. It's simply not that hard or time consuming.
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