Subscription/Service Fees - OSD Intent

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Sat Mar 31 18:24:31 UTC 2001

on Fri, Mar 30, 2001 at 11:40:35AM -0800, Laura Majerus (LMajerus at wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Ben Tilly [mailto:ben_tilly at]
> > To: DSMITH at; license-discuss at


> > >In the case of Open Source licenses, however, this stuff is 
> > too new for
> > >there to be any value in simply sticking with bad language.  
> > I did a search
> > >of Lexis recently and could not find a single case 
> > interpreting the GNU GPL
> > >or the Mozilla GL.
> > 
> > There is none for the GNU GPL.  The resulting uncertainty
> > is often branded as a weakness.  But IMHO it should be
> > viewed as a strength.  Plenty of companies who were not
> > particularly friendly to the GPL have been challenged for
> > GPL violations.  *NOT ONE* (after full review by their
> > lawyers) thought that their odds of winning a case against
> > it was good enough to take it to court.
> > 
> > In my books that is pretty reassuring. :-)
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > Ben
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
> > 

> I'm collecting information on gpl disputes that have been settled amicably
> (or at least settled out of court).  "Plenty of companies" is a bit vague.
> Pointers anyone? 

Among the more often cited, NeXT computer and the g++ compiler

For general information, Eben Moglen or the FSF are a good start.

Jeremy Allison, Samba Team (and VA Linux employee), has chased after any
number of folks who've really liked the idea of a Legacy MS
Windows-compatible networked fileshare but didn't feel quite the same
about the GNU GPL.  Some entertaining stories there.

John Carmack, of Doom and Id Software fame, has had a few brushes,
including one fellow who essentially tried to release Doom under an
NDA-type agreement.  This story was carried at Slashdot, which is also a
good place to look for various allegations of GPL violations -- the
words "GPL violation" turns up several hundred articles.  The Carmack
story is here:

My own experience in this light was with Microsoft's Unix Services for
Windows NT.  Several GNU utilities were included in binary format w/o
sources or other GPL section 3 requirements.  A note to Doug Miller
(Microsoft VP of product marketing, former CEO of Interix, from whence
the product was derived) wrote back with a "thanks for bringing this to
our attention, we'll fix it".  Not even an attempt at a fight.  They
pick theirs, I'm sure, and this certainly wasn't it.

Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
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