Kernel contributions from organisations and individual privacy

Rik van Riel riel at
Thu Jun 11 21:28:00 EDT 2015

On 06/11/2015 08:13 PM, Jeff Haran wrote:
>> On 06/11/2015 07:26 PM, Ruben Safir wrote:
>>> Not at all.  You have a good point there are definitely legal
>>> situations other than relicensing which are problematic.
>>> Lets say Apple decides that are going to take the Linux Kernel and
>>> alter it extensively, in order for it to work with a new hardware
>>> platform that they created. And lets say don't return the code base to the
>> public.
>>> Now who is going to protect the license and sue them?  You have
>>> literaly thousands of partiticpants who have standing now in this case.
>> That means a thousand possible plaintiffs.
>> s/Apple/VMware/ and you get this:
> I don't see in that web site the amount of damages they are asking for. Maybe I missed it.

They are not asking for damages, but for license compliance.

> Might get more money coming in for the plaintiff's lawyers if instead of asking
> for contributions that yield a tee shirt, it was constructed more like an investment,
> as in X% of total "contributions" gets the investor X% of (damages - legal fees)
> should they win.

I suspect that is not possible, since not every Linux kernel
copyright holder will want to be part of a lawsuit (of any kind).

The Conservancy is a non-profit. The defendants usually end up
paying the legal costs (and sometimes a contribution for help with
GPL compliance), but starting new actions is something that is
funded by people like us, who care about preserving the GPL license.

All rights reversed.

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