Re: GPL Violation of 'sveasoft' with GPL Linux Kernel/Busybox +code

From: Michael Poole
Date: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 21:06:58 EST

Kyle Moffett writes:

> In this case however, you buy the right to future updates for $20.
> This is
> a contract between you and SveaSoft that essentially says:
> > If you pay SveaSoft $20, you will receive all updates for the next
> > year.
> > If you chose to exercise your GPL right to redistribute, however, you
> > will lose the subscription you paid $20 for."
> The penalty for exercising your GPL distribution right is losing your
> $20 subscription. I believe that such a penalty is a restriction on you
> exercising your GPL rights.

It is no such thing.

Restriction \Re*stric"tion\, n. [F. restriction, L. restrictio.]
1. The act of restricting, or state of being restricted;
confinement within limits or bounds.

You can fully exercise your rights under the GPL; they are not
restricted. However, you cannot expect future support from Sveasoft.
Only your contract entitles you to that support, and if you do
something to terminate your contract, it is outside the GPL's scope.

This is unpleasant for a lot of people. It is probably suboptimal for
the free software community. Life can be hard like that. Any
competent lawyer could have a copyright infringement claim dismissed
if the claim were based on your theory of the GPL.

Michael Poole
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