Busybox and GPL

Yann E. MORIN yann.morin.1998 at anciens.enib.fr
Sat Aug 7 09:58:59 UTC 2010


All,

On Saturday 07 August 2010 04:16:04 Vic wrote:
> > In your (and other readers') personal opinion, is it good or bad
> > that we are getting this kind of "PR"?
> Overall - good.

Fully agreed.

> There are still people who believe that GPL means "public domain". These
> people need to be disabused of this erroneous belief.
> At the same time, there are those that believe that GPL covers absolutely
> everything in the aggregation. These people also need to be shown the
> error of their ways.
> Unfortunately, there are some who will only take away the message that
> BusyBox has a legal risk to it. They conveniently forget that abusing the
> licence of a proprietary piece of software is far more likely to land you
> in legal difficulties...

I would not have said it better than Vic did! :-)

> > One important detail that the company which was violating GPL
> > in this particular case is bankrupt at the moment; do we look bad
> > by making its life even harder? -
> We run the risk of looking irrelevant; it looks like a Pyhrric victory.

As far as I understand, the company was not goinf bankrupt at the time
the initial 'discussions' were started.

> >> Westinghouse Digital Electronics was also ordered to hand over
> >> equipment in its possession that contained GPL code
> >> and forbidden to distribute devices which contained
> >> the BusyBox software.
> > Your thoughts?
> We need to watch for web sites discussing this case, and be ready to
> correct any flagrant nonsense in both articles and in comments. Some of
> this will be ignorance, some astroturfing :-(

The point being, that the stuff will be given to _charity_. And the $90,000
figure for _triple_ damages is not very high, if we compare that to damages
granted for even non-wilfull infringement to proprietary stuff (although I
do not have figures out of my head right now, we have to get one for, say
MS or ScO, just to compare)

The groklaw article is very interesting:
  http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100803132055210

Regards,

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