Re: Flaunting the GPL Re: Pious Crusades

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From: Justin Mason (
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 06:59:25 PDT

"Adam L. Beberg" said:
> > Sure, you'd be unpopular among many free/open source people.
> > But would there, could there be a legal prosecution? Who would
> > have to bring that case and what damages might apply? Has
> > there ever been such a court prosecution?
> The authors in theory, if they had the megabucks to invoke
> LegalSystem(), could try to sue, but I believe the standing legal
> opinion of the GPL is "if you challenge it, it will fall". It's never
> been to court.
> The GPL is enforced purely on the basis of peer pressure, and as such is
> far more of a social contract then anything else.

I have heard of a few GPL breaches; most are remedied quite quickly. This

(a) because a large software company that includes GPLed code in their own
code will generally be told by their *own* lawyers to sort it out, just to
make sure the code ownership issue stays on their side; and

(b) the peer-pressure angle. Karl Anderson has just written the right
thing on that so I won't comment further.


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