So, that's how GPL Violations finds it out!

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PDF icon compliance-manual.pdf 590.77 KB

Ever wondered how GPL violations and the other guys in pursue of violations of the Free Software licenses find out who is an infringer?

A very detailed document made by Armijn Hemel of Loohuis Consulting, “The GPL compliance engineering guide“, provides an insight and a lot of information. But this is serious stuff, kids, don't try at home unless you are very well trained, of age, and anyway do it at your own risk!

Some legal blah blah before reading. First, this is a document that is covered by copyright, it has a verbatim copying and distribution clause. No derivative can be taken. Respect others' copyright, don't mess with it. Second, some of the techniques described there could be questioned by somebody in certain jurisdictions: copyright and trade secret protection is not always aligned, nor is the right of obtaining discovery. It is my firm belief that these techniques are legitimate insofar they are used only for obtaining knowledge of a violation. But before trying, you are invited to seek legal advice in your country. Third, some trademarks are mentioned. This does not mean that the products and companies associated with them are willingly or unwillingly violating anybody's right, they are mentioned only for reference purposes. If you feel that there is any trademark that is misused, please inform me privately and I will take seriously any of your requests, but don't forget that there is a freedom of speech principle applying here.

A few words about GPL Violations. It is a non profit initiative whose ultimate goal is to make vendors of GPL licensed software understand that GPL is not public domain, and that there are license conditions that are to be fulfilled.It has a long track record of convincing people to fix incompliant behaviour, and a few cases successfully brought to court, as I have reported elsewhere. The same activity has been made by SFLC in the “Busybox” cases. The compliance work is made a little more difficult by the fact that only a copyright holder can sue somebody for infringement, but there are avenues also for non-copyright holders to contribute and do something for a healthier environment. For more suggestion, please visit the mentioned websites.

Have a nice reading (of the attachment)!

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