Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Mar 2009 08:28 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source The whole FAT licensing saga between Microsoft and TomTom just got a whole lot more complicated. Microsoft sued TomTom because the satnav maker had not licensed FAT from Microsoft, even though several others have. This left TomTom in a difficult position: not license it, and face legal penalties - license it, and violate the GPL. The second part, however, is up for debate now: the terms under which Microsoft licenses FAT may not violate the GPL at all. Near-instant update: On Slashdot, Bruce Perens and Jeremy Allison have explained that the FAT terms are still a GPL violation. Allison accidentally emailed the journalist who wrote this story with the wrong information.
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Why Is This News?
by NathanHill on Fri 13th Mar 2009 17:05 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

I'm not sure what is at issue here - who cares if licensing FAT violates the GPL?

Could someone point me to a link why this is being discussed on Slashdot and here?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why Is This News?
by sbergman27 on Fri 13th Mar 2009 17:27 in reply to "Why Is This News?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm not sure what is at issue here - who cares if licensing FAT violates the GPL?

Oh, maybe the holders of the copyrights on the vfat filesystem in Linux? Or maybe TomTom, which would *automatically* lose its right to use the Linux kernel in any way shape or form as soon as they signed the patent license agreement? Or maybe their employees? Or maybe their customers? Or maybe Microsoft?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Why Is This News?
by NathanHill on Fri 13th Mar 2009 22:36 in reply to "RE: Why Is This News?"
NathanHill Member since:
2006-10-06

Oh, maybe the holders of the copyrights on the vfat filesystem in Linux? Or maybe TomTom, which would *automatically* lose its right to use the Linux kernel in any way shape or form as soon as they signed the patent license agreement? Or maybe their employees? Or maybe their customers? Or maybe Microsoft?


Okay.

But I'm still unclear what is going on. So TomTom uses FAT for their GPS systems, but they also use a Linux kernel in some of them. So, they didn't license FAT, and they are now in trouble? Or using FAT with the Linux kernel means open source folks are upset? I'm not sure what is at stake here.

What if they license FAT and then go ahead and use the Linux kernel? Will they get sued, and by who? Is Microsoft the bad guy? Is the GPL the bad guy? Or TomTom?

Edit: Wait a minute. I read the article lead in, but the comments and Slashdot comments seemed to make it all about a FAT versus GPL thing. It really is just a Microsoft suing TomTom thing, right?

Edited 2009-03-13 22:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1