Brussels / 31 January & 1 February 2015


Fork and Ignore: Fighting a GPL Violation By Coding Instead

The Story of Kallithea

Typically, GPL enforcement activity involves copyright infringement actions which compel license violators to correct errors in their GPL compliance,thus yielding the policy goals of the GPL: the rights of developers and users to copy, share, modify and redistribute.

While traditional enforcement is often undeniably necessary for embedded electronics products, novel approaches to GPL violations are often possible and even recommended for more traditional software distributions.

Recently, Conservancy engaged in an enforcement action whereby,rather than fight the violator in court, Conservancy instead fostered and provide resources and assistance to a vetted GPL-compliant fork of a violating codebase.

This talk discusses which scenarios make this remedy optimal and lessons learned. The talk includes some licensing and technical content about vetting licensing information of codebases.


Photo of Bradley M. Kuhn Bradley M. Kuhn