Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Enforcement of the GNU GPL in Germany and Europe

Filed under
OSS

Abstract

GPL enforcement is successful in Europe. In several court decisions and out of court settlements the license conditions of the GPL have been successfully enforced. In particular, embedded systems are the main focus of such compliance activities. The article describes the practice of enforcement activities and the legal prerequisites under the application of German law.

B. Information about GPL violations

One might think that the detection of GPL violations in proprietary products is difficult or almost impossible, when no source code is at hand or the software is even hidden in an embedded system. In reality, however, there are many different ways to get the necessary information to prove the use of GPL-licensed software.[4] To quote an easy example: On a recent flight, when the entertainment system in the seat in front of me booted, I was surprised to see the typical boot information of the Linux kernel, including a copyright notice of one of my clients.

But GPL violations are not restricted to the Linux kernel. Once, another client of mine was contacted by a customer of a proprietary product asking for support. Thus, my client learned that a header file written by him was made available on the vendor’s website, and that the latter shipped his proprietary product without any information about the fact that the software was licensed under the GPL.

Many violations concern embedded systems.




More in Tux Machines

50 Noteworthy New Open Source Projects

The list also includes a potpourri of projects from other categories, including Web content management, software-defined networking, desktop publishing, games, IT management, electronic health records, operating systems and more. All of these apps were released for the first time within the last couple of years and most of them haven't been featured on our lists in the past. Read more

Salix Fluxbox 14.1 Is a Lightweight Modular Distro Based on Slackware

Along with the Openbox version of Salix, the Fluxbox edition is one of the lightest iterations available in the series. Unfortunately, it's not exactly on the list of priorities for the developer and it's been trailing a little behind, but now it's ready. Salix is one the few very active distributions based on Slackware, which is a famous and very stable operating system that has been around for quite a while. It's rather different from what everyone else is doing because it is a modular system and it has a rolling release model. Read more

Oracle and Canonical collaborate on support for Oracle Linux on Ubuntu

As part of this collaboration, Canonical will support Ubuntu as a guest OS on Oracle Linux OpenStack, and Oracle will support Oracle Linux as a guest OS on Ubuntu OpenStack. Canonical will test Oracle Linux as a guest OS in its OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL) program. This gives customers the assurance the configuration is tested and supported by both organisations. Read more

Debian Switches Back To GNOME As Its Default Desktop

There still though is the chance for change as Hess explains, "Some desired data is not yet available, but at this point I'm around 80% sure that gnome is coming out ahead in the process. This is particularly based on accessibility and to some extent systemd integration... The only single factor that I think could outweigh the above is media size, if there was a strong desire by Debian to see a single CD with a standalone usable desktop. However, the Debian live team doesn't care about fitting on a traditional CD; and while the Debian CD team hasn't made a statement, my impression as a member is that this is not something we care enough about any more to make it a hard blocker on the default desktop." Read more