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

From: Kyle Moffett
Date: Tue Nov 09 2004 - 22:05:04 EST

On Nov 09, 2004, at 21:01, Michael Poole wrote:
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.

The only "true" restrictions, by your definition, are the laws of physics. A
"law" passed by Congress is simply a piece of paper that the citizens of
the US agree to follow (transitively, because we agree with Congress
because we agree with the Constitution). Various other "laws" specify
what punishments we may or may not receive if we do not follow those
laws. My example is no less a restriction than those others, except that
it has a lesser punishment associated with it.

Also from
Main Entry: re·stric·tion
Function: noun
1: something that restricts: as
a: a regulation that restricts or restrains
b: a limitation on the use or enjoyment of property or a facility
I would call "If you distribute you lose your $20 subscription" a
"limitation", and it most certainly restricts my ability to use the kernel to
the fullest extent that the GPL provides.

You can fully exercise your rights under the GPL; they are not
restricted. However, you cannot expect future support from Sveasoft.
But if I paid $20 for one year of said support?

Only your contract entitles you to that support, and if you do
something to terminate your contract, it is outside the GPL's scope.
What _is_ inside the GPL's scope is that no contract may require me
to abstain from my GPL rights. If I use my full GPL rights, then they
are telling me that I break the contract and lose my $20 support.

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.
As I said, IANAL, but I do feel strongly about this issue (though I've
never paid for their software). In any case, I think this point will be
moot if SveaSoft continues with their announced plan to require an
activation key. That would _definitely_ be against the GPL.

Kyle Moffett

Version: 3.12
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L++++(+++) E W++(+) N+++(++) o? K? w--- O? M++ V? PS+() PE+(-) Y+
PGP+++ t+(+++) 5 X R? tv-(--) b++++(++) DI+ D+ G e->++++$ h!*()>++$ r !y?(-)

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