[PD] Percolate

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at eds.org
Sun Mar 11 05:36:27 CET 2007

On Mar 8, 2007, at 6:27 PM, David Powers wrote:

> On 3/8/07, Thomas Grill <gr at grrrr.org> wrote:
>> Am 09.03.2007 um 00:03 schrieb Tim Blechmann:
>>> although i don't really like this clause, the following  
>>> description is
>>> quite clear:
>>> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLPluginsInNF
>> I knew about this one, but i don't think that this is applicable if
>> there is no actual distribution of the non-GPLd program with GPLd
>> plugins.
>> I might be wrong, though. Anyway, i don't care much - if the GPL is
>> odd enough to violate against such usage i would consider a different
>> license. Idealism gone.
> Not to mention, that the GPL has never been rigorously tested in a
> court of law. At least in the United States, such matters are in
> something of a legal limbo, until the courts set precedents.

While this is technically true, it's not really meaningful that no  
one has gone to court over the GPL.  The reason why is because  
copyright license law is so clear and straightforward in regards to  
the GPL that no one would be stupid enough to fight the FSF in  
court.  They would lose and just spend more money doing it.

The FSF actively enforces the GPL, getting lots of different sources  
released (the Linksys firmware source is a good example).  The FSF  
has no reason to take anyone to court as long as they comply with the  
license.  So far everyone has.


> Interestingly, this identical issue came up on the ChucK list today.
> There is a [chuck~] external for max/msp, which it turns out probably
> violates the GPL.
> Anyway, I'm all for the pragmatic approach as Thomas Grill has just
> expressed ... (Just like, if I decide I want to sample a Prince song
> tomorrow night, I'm going to do it, copyright laws be damned...!)
> ~David
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