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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RE: Comment by dexter11
by strcpy on Wed 16th Dec 2009 11:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by dexter11"
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More fuel to the flames.

Few quotes:

The only reason that toolchain hadn't already been replaced was that after the first lawsuit back in 2003, Cisco washed their hands of Linux for five years and outsourced maintenance of existing projects to Taiwan, and switched their new routers to VxWorks instead. They had just gotten over that a few months before this lawsuit was filed, and their new projects were using toolchains built from source in-house (instead of supplied by an outside vendor).

That's why I'm not involved in the current round of Busybox suits. I have zero faith that the SFLC understands which lawsuits are in the interests of the community, and which are the equivalent of patent trolling. Humoring the more zealous and clueless excesses of the FSF's idealism division (the parts that call Tim O'Reilley a "parasite" for producing good documentation for sale, and say that having a day job writing proprietary code is "a sin")... That's not helpful to Linux. We have enough trouble distancing ourselves from the lunatic fringe as it is.

Oh, one other fun detail: the code drops we did get from the rounds of suits I was involved with? As far as I know, it didn't result in a single line added to the BusyBox repository. From an engineering perspective, the entire exercise was _completely_useless_.

I dunno how "public" a blog entry is. (My sick cat is doing much better, thanks.) But yeah: not involved this time, done enough damage already. Driving companies away from Linux while giving the FSF's screwball division a bigger soapbox is not what I signed up for, so I didn't re-enlist for the current round.

Bruce abandoned BusyBox two years before Erik Andersen picked up the dead code and re-launched it, and then Bruce didn't bother to post or subscribe to Erik's new list for most of a decade (until he suddenly showed up not to contribute code but to be a license troll, at which time Bruce's web page said that BusyBox was maintained by Lineo, a company that Erik had left something like seven years earlier).

It wouldn't help the SFLC to involve Bruce because he has nothing to do with BusyBox. That's a significant reason BusyBox has been as successful as it has: Bruce's _lack_ of involvement in it.

Now let's wait until the zealot department of OSNews comes and debunks this viewpoint from inside.

Edited 2009-12-16 11:12 UTC

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