If Only They'd Actually Help Enforce GPL

Monday 15 August 2011 by Bradley M. Kuhn

Unfortunately, Edward Naughton is at it again, and everyone keeps emailing me about, including Brian Proffitt, who quoted my email response to him this morning in his article.

As I said in my response to Brian, I've written before on this issue and I have nothing much more to add. Naughton has not identified a GPL violation that actually occurred, at least with respect to Google's own distribution of Android, and he has completely ignored my public call for him to make such a formal report to the copyright holders of GPL violations for which he has evidence (if any).

Jon Corbet of LWN has also picked up the story, mostly pontificating on what it would mean if loss of distribution rights under GPLv2§4 are used nefariously instead of the honorable way it has been hitherto used to defend software freedom. I commented on the LWN post.

I think Jon's right to raise that specific concern, and that's a good reason for projects to upgrade to GPLv3. But, nevertheless, this whole thing is not even relevant until someone actually documents a real GPL violation that has occurred. As I previously mentioned, I'm aware of plenty of documented violations (thanks to Matthew Garrett), and I'd love if more people were picking up and act on these violations to enforce the GPL. I again tell Naughton: if you are seriously concerned about enforcing GPL, then volunteer your time as a lawyer to help. But we all know that's not really what interests you: rather, your job is to spread FUD.

Posted on Monday 15 August 2011 at 15:01 by Bradley M. Kuhn.

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