The GPL Is a License, not a Contract
Posted Dec 4, 2003 2:36 UTC (Thu) by torsten
Parent article: The GPL Is a License, not a Contract
"You do have a choice under the GPL: you can stop using the stolen code and write your own, or you can decide you'd rather release under the GPL. But the choice is yours. If you say "I choose neither," the court can impose an injunction to stop you from further distribution, but it won't order your code released under the GPL. Your code remains yours, as you can see, even in a worst case scenario."
PJ has clarified why a company will never be forced to release their code under the GPL, but she has not stated what would stop a company from incorporating GPL code to begin with.
I believe the most significant barrier to the theft of GPL code may be substantial per-infringement awards specified in copyright law. But the question is, do I need to demonstrate financial damage, or is simple infringement enough to collect? And if I need to demonstrate financial damage, would a judge buy that I have suffered financially when I don't even charge money for my software?
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