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From Henri Yandell <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Compliance costs for different licenses
Date Mon, 25 Apr 2011 00:13:25 GMT
That matches my view. Attribution based (permissive) license mistakes
are cheaper to resolve than copyleft. Also the general style of the
communities are that the permissive license are probably looking for
the issue to be resolved while the copyleft license will want their
pound of flesh (i.e. all they can get).

That's a gross simplification :) No insult intended to pragmatic
copylefters or aggressive permissivers.

It's also easier to go above and beyond on fixing attribution based.
Make a big noise about the project and you make up for the lost


On Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM, Marvin Humphrey <marvin@rectangular.com> wrote:
> Greetings,
> In some informal private conversations on licensing, I've taken to describing
> the GPL as "more costly" to comply with than the Apache License or other
> permissive licenses.  I'd like to make sure that I understand the enforcement
> mechanisms properly so that I may describe the situation accurately and avoid
> spreading FUD, especially if I start making such claims in public.
> Say that a company distributes a proprietary, closed source application which
> bundles both an Apache-licensed library and a GPL'd library, without crediting
> either.  This action violates both licenses.
> If I understand correctly, the legal avenues available to the copyright
> holders for the two libraries are the same.  In both cases, it's straight-up
> copyright infringement once the licenses are violated:
>    http://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/penalties.html
> Both copyright holders have the right to get an injunction issued which forces
> distribution of the offending application to cease.  Both have the right to
> reimbursement of court costs, etc.
> However, assume for the purposes of argument that the priority of the
> copyright holders is for the application vendor to modify their distribution
> so that it complies with the relevant license.  (A big assumption, considering
> all the civil remedies available in cases of copyright infringement.)  This is
> where the "cost" of conformance diverges.
> To satisfy the Apache License, the vendor will have to start crediting the
> copyright holder properly -- a relatively inexpensive action.  However, to
> comply with the GPL, there are two options, both costly.
> The first option is for the vendor to publish the source code of their
> proprietary application and allow distribution under the GPL.  Note that the
> copyright holder for the GPL'd library cannot *force* the app vendor to open
> up their code -- it's just one way to bring the offending distribution into
> compliance.
> The other option is to purge the GPL'd library and all work "derived" from it
> from the app.  Presumably purging the GPL'd library will involve some amount
> of development effort.  Purging all "derived" materials presents the
> additional challenge of accounting for what is "derived", as there is
> substantial disagreement as to what constitutes a derivative work in software
> that the US court system has yet to resolve.
> (Of course you never want it to get to the point of a lawsuit, and hopefully
> your real costs as an app vendor accrue in ongoing efforts to avoid
> litigation.)
> How close is my understanding to the reality?
> Best,
> Marvin Humphrey
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