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Thread: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

  1. #1
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    EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    One of the best things about the Linux world, is obviously that there aren't many EULA's. The GPL has certain rules when it comes to using code, and the like. Contributing back, etc...

    With all of the lawsuits and stuff out there vs. Apple and Microsoft, do distributions such as Suse, Fedora, and Ubuntu tend to avoid lawsuits by providing their software "Gratis?"
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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    GPL needs a lot of protection. You can help here: https://sfconservancy.org/

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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    There may be a couple reasons. One might be that licenses under which most Linux distros are released are pretty liberal. Second and probably the biggest reason is that most distros don't generate mongo $$$$. Suing someone costs $$$, no one is going to sue unless there is a $$$$ reason. That could involve defending a copyright or patent but it's still ultimately about the $$$$.

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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    There have been a number of civil lawsuits attacking individual distributors of Linux as proxies for the entire Linux community. Most have resulted in losses for the plaintiff. Those in which the plaintiff was successful have returned a judgement that was of little worth compared to the expense of the litigation.

    SCO's (formerly Caldera) suit against IBM, which spilled over into the Linux world due to the *Nix-ness of Linux, failed in large part because of the GPL -- under which Caldera itself had operated.

    Code produced under the GPL and subsequently used by others pursuant to the GPL and fulfilling its requirements has been litigated, there is case law surrounding it, and it is generally unassailable in US courts.
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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    SCO's (formerly Caldera) suit against IBM, which spilled over into the Linux world due to the *Nix-ness of Linux, failed in large part because of the GPL -- under which Caldera itself had operated.

    Code produced under the GPL and subsequently used by others pursuant to the GPL and fulfilling its requirements has been litigated, there is case law surrounding it, and it is generally unassailable in US courts.
    It's worth mentioning the final nail in SCO's coffin was the finding of Novell not actually having sold them the Unix copyrights via some accounting loophole.

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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwęt View Post
    It's worth mentioning the final nail in SCO's coffin was the finding of Novell not actually having sold them the Unix copyrights via some accounting loophole.
    Although the ruling was technically valid, I was actually disappointed in that result. It basically skirted the issue by relying on a technicality to dismiss the suit. This has left the initial legal question still suspended in a sort of limbo. What would have been far better in my books was for SCO to unequivocally lose and to have the court establish once and for all as a matter of settled law the primacy of the GPL.

    The well deserved death of SCO yielded but limited schadenfreude in comparison to the sheer calculated cynicism that motivated them to take a run at Linux in the first place.

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    Re: EULA's, Lawsuits, and Theft... Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    There may be a couple reasons. One might be that licenses under which most Linux distros are released are pretty liberal. Second and probably the biggest reason is that most distros don't generate mongo $$$$. Suing someone costs $$$, no one is going to sue unless there is a $$$$ reason. That could involve defending a copyright or patent but it's still ultimately about the $$$$.
    I hear you. If there's no money to go around, there's no point in suing...

    This leads to some of the stranger lawsuits. Like Google being sued for Chrome using the users private data. Whereas Chromium does not do the same.
    Can the courts (litigators) differentiate Google's Chrome from the Chromium Project? Does Google even establish a boundary between GPL, and proprietary code? Does this get the GPL dragged into the process as well?
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