11 September 2006

King Harald's Great GPL Victory

Harald Welte, untiring defender of the GPL, has won a splendid victory in the German courts. No details yet, but this is what King Harald has to say in his royal blog:


Today I have receive news that we've won the first regular civil court case on the GPL in Germany. This is really good news, since so far we've only had a hand full of preliminary injunctions been granted (and an appeal case against an injunction), but not a regular civil trial.

The judge has ruled, but the details of the court order have not been publicised yet. I'll publicised the full details as soon as thus details are available in the next couple of weeks.

Go, Harald, go. (Via Heise Online.)

Update: Details have now emerged, as has a clarification of what the court decided:

the judges in Frankfurt-on-the-Main also confirmed the fundamental validity of the GPL: "In particular, the provisions of the GPL cannot be read as a relinquishing of copyright or copyright-law legal positions," the judges write in their opinion. The court explicitly confirmed as valid paragraph 4 of the license, which prohibits distribution of any kind in the event of any GPL clause being violated. D-Link had therefore not been entitled to market the GPL-licensed software without abiding by the conditions imposed by the license, while Mr. Welte for his part had been entitled to send the warning notice and make his claims for reimbursement, the judges state.

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