Subject: RE: violation of GPLv2 - remedies?
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 13:09:46 -0700

The issues of enforceability of the GPL and the remedies available for
breach of the GPL are complicated ones.  Because the GPL is intended by
its authors to be a copyright license rather than a contract, copyright
remedies apply.  It makes a difference, under the Copyright Act, whether
the copyright is registered or not, and only the original copyright
owner (or the holder of an exclusive right under the copyright) has
standing to sue to enforce a copyright license.

I prefer at this time not to discuss these issues in generalities.  If
you have a specific question that arises under the GPL, you should speak
directly with an attorney.  Feel free to call me about this if you want.

/Larry Rosen
Attorney and Executive Director, OSI

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Abraham Ingersoll [] 
> Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 12:29 PM
> To:
> Subject: violation of GPLv2 - remedies?
> (This is a bit off topic, but the problem we've encountered 
> is probably 
> something other open-source software developers will 
> eventually cross, so 
> I'm posting here..)
> My questions --
> Once a company has violated the GPL (v2), what remedies does the 
> copyright holder have? What must a copyright holder do to 
> protect these 
> possible remedies, and what can/should a copyright holder do 
> with regard 
> to the original violator? 
> How drastically does the situation change if the publisher 
> never bothered 
> to officially register the copyright with the library of congress?
> Besides the obvious experts (such as the FSF in the case of 
> the GPL), are 
> there any other good sources for information regarding copyright 
> statutes & caselaw, especially in regards to how copyright 
> laws apply to 
> copyleft licenses? And does anyone have references to attorneys who 
> specialize in copyright law, software and open source 
> licenses? We're in 
> need...
> Thanks,
> Abe Ingersoll <>
> Manager - Dajoba, LLC
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

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