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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dubious? why? AFAIK Wine developers are very careful that noone who has actually seen Windows code can make contributions.

I do believe that they try to write original code clean from any MS influence. And I think they are doing a good job.

However, are we to believe that no one has ever seen a function disassembled in a debugger even before working on Wine? That no one has ever used Windows dlls to fill gaps in unreleased versions while they develop a replacement?

I have nothing against any of the projects I named, but if copyright worked as busybox author thinks they do, they too would be infringing. Fair use isn't even a legal figure in most countries.

Firstly quite a bit of code people looked at was/is public domain. Secondly a lot of the programming in Linux BSD ... was actually done according to standards (POSIX anyone) so looking at the standard not the original code. Thirdly if you only take a small part of a program, especially if you even cite the original implementation, that probably falls under fair use.

Uhm no. Some of the alternative utilities were PD. UNIX code and more importantly the kernel and the original C libraries were not PD and all of them started from there.

By the way, the first POSIX version was released in 1989. GNU was started in 1983, and BSD in 1975.

IMO you're incorrect. Thing about a book, if you took e.g. Harry Potter and rewrote the whole book changing all the formulations, but not the story you would quite certainly be infringing copyright and probably be sued.

That is called plagiarism. A close relative of trademarks. I don't think it has ever been applied to software itself as it doesn't make sense.

Edited 2009-12-16 12:59 UTC

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