[License-discuss] Linking question

Chris Travers chris at metatrontech.com
Sat Mar 3 06:23:15 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> Bruce Perens wrote:
> The parties didn't wish to contest whether they were in compliance or not.
> They instead took the route of requesting forgiveness for infringement as a
> settlement or before a suit was filed, since the terms to get that
> forgiveness end up being far less expensive than fighting the case.
> I can't argue against a quick settlement on terms cheaper than prolonged
> litigation. I've recommended that many times to clients, and if my client in
> this example was anything other than hypothetical, I'd seriously consider
> your advice. That's much safer than a hypothetical battle in court with
> Bradley Kuhn over Busybox enforcement; I know Bradley! But I also know
> companies that would fight Bradley all the way to the Supreme Court before
> they disclosed their crown jewel proprietary software to him.
> That sort of litigation blackmail was prevalent in personal injury tort
> cases also until the insurance companies realized that most juries were on
> their side and they started fighting back in edge cases. It is much harder
> to get a valuable settlement in those cases nowadays. GPL litigation might
> be next! :-)
I would second that.  I would add that there is a huge difference
between, say, the FSF suing Apple over an Objective C plugin to the
GCC and large for-profit software and service houses suing eachother
over the license.  Imagine if Oracle and IBM were fighting it out in
court over these things.  The calculus regarding settlements would be
very different.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers

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