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Submission + - When and How to deal with GPL violations? (nicta.com.au) 1

jd writes: "There are many pieces of software out there such as seL4 (kindly brought to my attention by another reader) where the vendor has indeed written something that they're entitled to Close Source but where their closed-source license includes the modifications to GPLed software such as the Linux kernel.

Then there's a second type of behaviour. Code Sourcery produced two versions of their VSIPL++ image processing library — one closed-source, one GPLed. It was extremely decent of them. When Mentor Graphics bought them, they continued developing the closed-course one and discontinued, then deleted, the GPL variant. It's unclear to me if that's kosher as the closed variant must contain code that had been GPLed at one point.

Here's the problem: Complaining too much will mean we get code now that maybe 4 or 5 people tops will actually care about. It will also make corporations leery of any other such work in future, where that work will be of greater value to a greater number of people.

So the question I want to ask is this: When is it a good time to complain? By what rule-of-thumb might you decide that one violation is worth cracking down on and another should be let go to help encourage work we're never going to do ourselves?"

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When and How to deal with GPL violations?

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  • Any moderate sized company that deals in GPL stuff have checked their actions with a lawyer. I'm pretty sure about this.

    So if Mentor pays for the copyright of VSIPL, and closes it - it is their right. As long as they don't change the license to something they don't own. If this makes you sad, take the last GPL version and fork it.

    Why does this question come up again and again? Complaining doesn't help. Writing better software does.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972