[SDL] SDL license change suggestion: wxWindows LPGL

Bob Pendleton bob at pendleton.com
Wed Jan 8 09:50:01 PST 2003


On Wed, 2003-01-08 at 09:52, Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> > Me Too
> >
> > It's like saying: It is Ok to sue me because the end user was clever(er)
> >
> > /Pontus
> 
> Yes, surely if there's anyone to blame here it's the person who wants to
> copy the sound effects or whatever it is they're trying to do. It would
> be like a record company suing a hi-fi manufacturer because their
> equipment permits copying.

Why do you think there were so few dual drive VCRs on the market?
Because the VCR companies were threatened with law suits when they tried
to make them. The argument is that such a device is primarily designed
to violate copyrights. 

If you buy two VCRs and use them to make copies, you are responsible for
the copies you make. But if you manufacture a device that makes it easy
to make copies, you may be held responsible for all the illegal copies
made using your device, even if you didn't use it to make illegal copies
yourself.

Whether that argument will hold up in court depends on the judge, the
law of the country where the trial is held, and the details of the
specific case. In the recent trial of the fellow who wrote DeCSS he was
prosecuted for creating software whose primary purpose was to violate
copyright (like building a dual drive VCR). A Norwegian court didn't buy
the argument. OTOH, cracking a copy protection scheme is a crime in the
US (DMCA) and the kid would most likely be doing time if he were tried
for the same thing in the US.

Anyway, none of that really matters. I read recently that it costs on
average $100,000 USD to defend your self against a suit in the US. So,
unless you have that kind of money to through around you try very hard
not to be sued. So, the threat of filing a suit is often used by wealthy
companies and individuals to stop all sorts of activities.

IMHO if you sue someone and lose, you should have to pay the person you
sued at least twice what they spent to defend themselves + the amount
you spent to sue them. That would balance things out. But, that is not
the way things are. So, right now small businesses have to be very
careful about who they piss off.

		Bob Pendleton

> 
> Nick
> 
> 
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-- 
+------------------------------------+
+ Bob Pendleton, consultant for hire +
+ Resume: http://www.jump.net/~bobp  +
+ Email:  bob at pendleton.com          +
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