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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sindhudweep
Member since:
2009-12-16

Actually it seems that Bruce Perens doesn't seem to have any remaining code in BusyBox.

This is primarily because he hasn't contributed to the project since 1996 (over a decade ago).

See http://busybox.net/~landley/forensics.txt for the details of the analysis and the rationale.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

Reading that document it seems to me like Rob Landley is a bit of a dickhead and really does not have much understanding about copyright. So the whole thing was started off when Rob wanted to relicense busybox under GPLv2 only, instead of GPLv2 or any later version which it was previously. Bruce Perens who wrote BusyBox originally but didn't contribute for a number of years but was still a copyright holder objected to this.
From the document:
"
...(despite being asked
to fork the project from any of the existing releases if he felt that strongly
about the issue, plus repeated assurance that existing releases remained under
the licenses they had already been released under, and a persistent failure
to explain how "GPLv2" wasn't a compatible subset of "GPLv2 or later").
"
I would say that this is very obvious. You can't release a new version of a GPL software under a more restrictive license than before "GPLv2 only" is clearly more restrictive than "GPLv2 or later" even if the original version remain GPLv2 or later they are still a derivative work and contain pieces with the original copyright. To say just fork is really smacking someone in the face, and I understand why Bruce got more confrontational about this (Rob states this).

Reply Parent Score: 1

chaslinux Member since:
2008-07-17

Bruce may not have contributed code since 1996 but that doesn't mean all his code was gone then. Bruce seems to be asserting that some of the devices in question use Busybox versions that contain code he wrote.

Reply Parent Score: 1