SFC vs Vizio lawsuit

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Joined: 01/17/2020

The lawsuit the SFC is a unique one in that they are suing as an end-user according to the GPL license/contract to make Vizio release the source code for their public product which would be TVs. The problem is, Is the GPL enforceable from an End User point of view as a license or a contract? Well, the end-user has no copyright ownership in the said product because the end-user is not a copyright holder so therefore it would likely be the GPL is a contract between the End User and Vizio. If it is not enforceable for the average end-user then the GPL is worthless because who as an average person has enough money to bring a lawsuit, the GPL would become like an honor system, I promise to make the source code available, but if I do not then what are you going to do, spend thousands of dollars suing me in principle that you will never get back even if I win and declare bankruptcy. I guess if they make a GPLv4 I imagine it is going to include an additional clause to make the source code of the public product using GPL to be held in trust with a 3rd party to do the lawsuits and filings for the average user to go to in help with enforcement.

Joined: 09/13/2010

It can't hurt to explore ways to open up more possibilities for more people to be able to do license enforcement. A license called Copyleft Next has already been trying the idea that's by explicitly saying it:

Each direct and indirect recipient of the Covered Work from You is an
intended third-party beneficiary of this License solely as to this
section 5, with the right to enforce its terms.

I'm reminded of how people have successfully done license enforcement, like having import restrictions imposed.

Finding ways to open up other avenues of license enforcement so that it's not just limited to just the copyright holder may be a useful policy agenda to pursue in GPLv4.