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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sakeniwefu
Member since:
2008-02-26

If derived code is extended to mean code that was originally based on something someone once wrote even though it doesn't include any of the original code, then Wine, GNU, all the BSDs and even Linux are violating copyright.

Wine devs are in the best position as they can claim that they have not ever seen a line of Windows code(dubious as that would be) but their software is still obviously built after Windows and using windows as a reference.

As for others, all the original GNU and BSD devs had read and learnt from AT&T code as had Linus from Tanenbaum's. They also used that code as a base for their original systems linking to parts of it either directly or indirectly. The FSF claims that separate binaries are infringing too if they can only work with help from GPL code, so it should work the other way as well.

Basically if that reasoning were to be upheld in Court, most open source software would be infringing on someone's copyright.

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