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60 day violation window

From GPLv3 Wiki

A malicious manufactorer makes a router that runs Linux. They build the device, and distribute it to stores without the source code, thus violating the GPL. The stores agree to hold it for 60 days, and then put it on store shelves.

The manufacturer claims that they were going to distribute the source code with the product. However since they failed to do this 60 days ago, they are now immune as per the termination section. Therefore they do not have to distribute the source.

The stores might be in violation, since they can't distribute the source with the product. Since they do not have the source, perhaps this falls under the "Liberty or Death?" section, and they can't sell it at all? If that's the case, the manufactorer can't sell it so they have no incentive to set up this scheme, so maybe it doesn't matter. Or perhaps it falls under First Sale doctrine: stores don't accept the license, since they never use the software.

I don't think that terminating the rights under the license makes them immune from legal action(disclaimer: the author of this text is not a lawyer, and is not giving legal advice). It is a license not a contract, so if the license is terminated, that does not retrospectively make any distribution legal.
The "violation window" is something different than this scenario shows. This is how it works: The manufacturer violates the GPL. When the copyright holder notices this, he notifies the manufacturer. Then the manufacturer has 60 days (this is the "violation window") to either comply with the GPL or cease to use the software. If the manufacturer fails to do so after these 60 days, his license is terminated and if the manufacturer tries to ignore this license termination and use the software anyway, the copyright holder can sue him for copyright infringement. The 60 days in the agreement between the stores and the manufacturer are NOT the "violation window" at all. And finally when the stores are sued by the copyright holder, they can 1) tell the copyright holder to sue the manufacturer instead for an illegal distribution and/or 2) after they lose an lawsuit with the copyright holder, sue the manufacturer for fraud and demand the copyright holder lawsuit expenses as damages. (I personally think in vast majority of the cases 1) will work fine as free software developers usually seek GPL compliance, not lawsuits) hstech 05:20, 19 March 2007 (EDT)