Let’s say that I paid a third-party company to develop a new application for me. I also make myself clear about the need to have the full property of the code at the end of the developing phase. I also made myself clear about being willing to keep the code for myself (and as I’m not a developer I don’t have any idea of what this means for the devs).
At a certain point, the software developer and I will start arguing and my sue will end in a loss because of details that are infringing our contract. At this point, I still don’t have the property of the source code and I’ve never received a copy.
My hardware developer in the meantime is producing a custom board that runs the compiled and last version of the software, so I just run it on that device and then I sell the whole device
None of us is aware that the software devs used some GPL and LGPL libraries. After some time I finally see the code, but in an unofficial way (found a very old copy left by mistake by one of the devs and not corresponding to the last version)
At this point, I meet one of the GPL copyright owners and while talking with him he figured out that I violated his copyright and caught me totally unprepared.
The misunderstanding is coming from the fact that I mentioned his work while talking about mine, but the reason I knew about it was the unofficial copy of the code.
In my point of view in this case I am one of the victims of the violation, as the developer should have handed me the code. In such case, I had also no way to determine the distribution terms to be used and in fact, I don’t need it because I do not distribute the software by itself.
Am I missing something?