(OT) - Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Aug 28 06:10:20 UTC 2007

Michael Poole wrote:
> The significance of whether the GPL is a contract is tied to common
> (or at least US) law consequences of contract violation: in the US, a
> court will usually remedy a contract violation through monetary
> damages rather than ordering specific performance -- unless real
> property is involved.  To meet its goal of increasing free software,
> the FSF would obviously prefer to impose specific performance on GPL
> violators.

I don't think that's exactly right.  They would like to threaten an
injunction (based on ongoing copyright infringement) against
distribution, unless the violator agrees (settles) to distribute the
disputed software with source code, under the GPL.  I don't think they
believe specific performance per se is possible.  You're right that they
don't want monetary damages, since that doesn't advance the cause.

> Judging from Harald Welte's gpl-violations.org efforts, specific performance is an
> available remedy under German law.

I think these have all been settlements.

Matt Flaschen

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