[clug] Fwd: [LINK] Software Freedom Law Center files first US GPL infringement suit

James Polley clug at zhasper.com
Mon Sep 24 10:20:48 GMT 2007

On 24/09/2007, Michael Cohen <scudette at gmail.com> wrote:
>  This is no different however, than say
> loading linux on a box to create the platform to run your proprietary
> software on.

True - it is no different.

> Busybox will have to prove that the defendant actually
> extended busybox itself,

False. The GPL provisions trigger on distribution of software covered
by the GPL, not on modification or extension of the software.

cf http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#UnchangedJustBinary

cf also http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html. The
preamble states:
For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that
you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the
source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their

Section 3 is the relevant bit, but I won't quote it here.

> and even then only those modifications are
> releasable under gpl.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here. If the original code
was under the GPL, and the modifications are also under the GPL,
surely that means the whole lot is under the GPL?

I think you might be trying to say that "Even if they've modified the
original source, the GPL only requires them to distribute source for
the modifications". That's false in several ways, see above.

I've snipped the rest as it's irrelevant.

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