Compare And Contrast: How GPL Enforces Violations vs. How RIAA/MPAA/BSA Enforce Violations

from the it's-a-bit-different dept

While we've discussed how extreme views in the open source community can, at times, rival the way the entertainment industry acts towards those who violate licenses, reader Nick Coghlan writes in to point to an article that highlights how different they are in many cases, with Bradley Kuhn, the technical director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), putting forth new guidelines that encourage people not to jump to conclusions when they see potential violations, and to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone they suspect of violating the license. Compare that to the tens of thousands of threat letters sent out by the RIAA, at times with little real evidence.
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Filed Under: copyright, enforcement, gpl, licenses, violations
Companies: riaa, sflc


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  1. icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), 11 Nov 2009 @ 1:41pm

    There's actually an interesting quote from Bill Gates years ago (I forget the details unfortunately) where he says that he would prefer for people to pirate Windows or Office than to use someone else's stuff.

    There's actually an interesting distinction in some free-as-in-beer software licenses that rather than trying to define a commercial/non-commercial split as is the case with Creative Commons licenses instead try to define a personal use/professional use split.

    I sometimes wonder if the latter kind of split would do a better job of meeting the intent many creators have in using the non-commercial clause in CC licenses (i.e. "I don't care if you put this up on a page that happens to have a Google AdWords box or use it somewhat incidentally in a company blog post, but if you want to incorporate it into your national advertising campaign, contact me").

    I suspect it would just move the inevitable murky grey area to a different set of use cases though.

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