three more things worth noting about the GPL case

Following up on the last post after some quick discussions with friends:

  • At this point, this is still merely a complaint- nothing has gone to trial, nor will it for some time. In fact, most cases which reach this stage still never go to trial- they settle before getting that far. Still, this case is notable because it is the first case in the US which has gotten even to this fairly preliminary stage.
  • the complaint asks not just for injunction (which has always been the presumed remedy for GPL infringement) but for financial damages. It will be fascinating to see what theory SFLC uses to calculate the damages- perhaps expert testimony on what the code would have been worth had it been licensed under a traditional licensing scheme?
  • the case is about GPL v2, not GPL v3. The legal theories behind both licenses are substantially the same, so a judicial ruling in this case would be significant for v3- just not decisive.