Subject: Re: Gimp Copyright issues
From: "Leonard H. Tower Jr." <>
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 22:27:46 -0400 (EDT)

   Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 11:52:11 -0300
   Please note that I'm not a lawyer, but like John Gilmore and a few
   others I've spent some time studying up on IP law.  Use this to direct
   your lawyers more effectively, but don't start legal action based on
   what I have to say...

And don't start legal action based on what I have to say without
consulting your lawyers.

   The first step to take is to have your *lawyer* send them a letter.
   This letter should demand that they immediately cease distribution of
   any code that violates your license.  Say what that code is, and
   require them to stop distribution immediately.  Having the letter come
   from your lawyer will make them take it more seriously.  It also
   eliminates their ability to plead ignorance.
It's important that this letter from your lawyer gets to their lawyer.
It should be written in a manner, that will insure they consult their
attorney.  A statement that they legally have to cease and desist
their infringement, or you will pursue further legal sanctions should
do that.  Your lawyer will have the right legalese to use.

If you can find out who their lawyer is, send a copy to their lawyer
as well.  Your lawyer might be able to find this out, if you can't.

The letter should include a copy of the GIMP's GPL, and note it
inclusion in it's text.  This is to make sure the GPL reaches their

From my knowledge of what happened with GPLed software at the FSF
until I left in Sept. 1997:
	- Their lawyer will investigate the matter with them, and will
almost always tell them in confidence that under the law, they are
legally wrong.
	- Most lawyers will advise their clients to honor the GPL, but
leave the decision to their clients on how to proceed.
	- Most clients decide to stop infringing.
	- In a few cases, you'll have to go further along the lines
suggested already.

I never thought I would actually like a corporate lawyer, until I had
seen this happen a few times.  ;-}

best -len