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GPL Enforcement: Don't Jump to Conclusions, But Do Report Violations

Nov 23, 2009, 18:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bradley M. Kuhn)

"I find that people are most likely to do this when something seems novel and exciting. I don't really blame anyone for doing it; I do it myself when I have discovered an exciting thing that's new to me, even if it's well known by others. But, often, this new thing is actually rather mundane, and it's better to check in with the existing knowledge about the idea before "jumping" to any conclusions. In other words, the best square on the mat for us to land on is the one that reads: "Think again!"

"Meanwhile, as some who follow my microblog know, I've been on a mission in recent months to establish just how common and mundane GPL violations are. Since 21 August 2009, I've been finding one new GPL violating company per day (on average) and I am still on target to find one per day for 365 days straight. When I tell this to people who are new to GPL enforcement, they are surprised and impressed. However, when I tell people who have done GPL enforcement themselves, they usually say some version of: "Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Couldn't a monkey do that?" Fact is, the latter are a little bit right: there are so many GPL violations that I might easily be able to go on finding one per day for two years straight."

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