On Mon, 2011-01-31 at 10:03 -0700, Tom Callaway wrote:
On 01/30/2011 09:13 PM, Matt McCutchen wrote:
> I suspect that in the cases you are talking about, there is a key
> difference: the work the company is distributing is a derivative work of
> a GPL work copyrighted by another party, so that party can sue the
> company for copyright infringement. But in the original case in this
> thread, IguanaWorks is (we think) the sole copyright holder of the work
> it is distributing.
There is a difference in those two cases, as it is simpler for a
copyright holder to go after an infringer, but I suspect from a contract
perspective, the claim is equally valid.
It turns out this issue is covered in the FSF's GPL FAQ. They say that
the copyright holder's actions never "violate" the GPL, at least with
respect to distribution and modification. This would appear consistent
with my interpretation that the distribution and modification terms are
conditions of the copyright license offered to licensees, and not
Note that there may be other terms that are licensor commitments, such
as the patent license in GPLv3 section 11 (the licensor commits not to
enforce patents under certain conditions).