Monsoon Multimedia GPL lawsuit settled
Posted Oct 30, 2007 19:30 UTC (Tue) by JoeBuck
In reply to: Monsoon Multimedia GPL lawsuit settled
Parent article: Monsoon Multimedia GPL lawsuit settled
In what sense were they respecting the spirit, when they refused to provide source code?
The FSF has obtained compliance from hundreds of violators by quiet negotiation. For years, RMS followed this strategy because he was interested in compliance with the license, not in litigation. In this case, a lawsuit needed to be filed because the defendant was uncooperative.
Also, it won't do if people are allowed to object, drag their feet, kick and scream for months, and then finally and grudgingly release source code, with no other penalty. If that's allowed, everyone will do it. The fact is that if you violate GPLv2, your license terminates, meaning that you can't distribute the software at all, until the copyright holder explicitly permits you to. (This is actually an area where GPLv3 has a less severe penalty than GPLv2).
Remember the stink that happened when RMS said he forgave KDE for the past copyright violations from when QT had an incompatible license? He was attacked by people who didn't understand that the forgiveness was legally necessary: without it, those who distributed KDE would be forbidden from distributing the FSF code that had been linked with some KDE applications. In this case, Monsoon forfeited its rights to distribute BusyBox at all, and they needed to do this settlement to get their rights back.
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