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What exactly is incorrect?
Posted Apr 19, 2013 22:35 UTC (Fri) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Apr 19, 2013 23:47 UTC (Fri) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359)
Posted Apr 20, 2013 16:44 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
They retain the option of ceasing their use of the AGPL code when confronted with their violation [of the copyright].
At least in theory, they don't have that option, after they have used (copied) the code. They could, at that point, also have to pay damages for the copyright they have already usurped as well as possibly go to jail for willfully copying without permission.
The option I was referring to in saying that "forced" is an awkward word to use here is the option of not using the code/license linked with proprietary code in the first place. It's just not a proper use of "force" to use it for the known cost of a choice you're presently evaluating.
And the reason I bring it up is that this wording contributes to a common confusion people have about how GPL and copyright law work. Some people believe it works like this: you copy code, then the author makes you release your source code. In reality, it's the other way around: you release your source, then the author gives you permission to copy the code.
That may seem like an academic difference, but it makes a practical difference in the outcome of a lawsuit. If Harald Welte wins a lawsuit against you for using his code in your router and not publishing your driver source code, the court will not order you to divulge the driver source. Rather, the court will order you to pay Harald for the copyright of which you deprived him, and not to copy his code anymore. That's because the violation isn't that you didn't publish your driver source; it's that you did use Harald's code.
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