Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Dec 2009 20:51 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Yesterday, we reported that the Software Freedom Law Center had started a lawsuit against several companies who they claim violated the GPL. The subject of the violation was BusBox, and the SFLC claims it is operating on behalf of the authors of BusyBox. Original BusyBox author Bruce Perens, however, begs to differ.
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vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

It's one thing to rewrite a module to be cleaner code, more efficient, follow a better coding style, etc. - but to intentionally remove the previous author is of questionable ethic. The original author went through all the trouble of defining the behavior and logic, restating the same code with your own style/method doesn't make the original author's work any less important.


Well, the new code will still be derived work of the old code, so the original author still retains the copyright.

Basically, Perens can appeal to common decency in this, but I don't think he has legal basis for his complaint (not does he insist on having one). He's just saying that the lawsuit in question is a dirty trick (but that's what lawsuits usually are).

OTOH, if the offending distributors of Busybox failed to get something as simple as GPL compliance done right (which is basically about providing a tarball of the code they used to compile the thing), I'm surprised they managed to deliver a device in the first place.

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