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

“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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