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[4]: Why GPL then?
by Ed W. Cogburn on Wed 16th Dec 2009 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why GPL then?"
Ed W. Cogburn
Member since:
2009-07-24

Ah, right, so simple. So when I buy a TV containing GPL firmware from Walmart, they should be providing me with the source code before I leave the store...


Ironic that you would use a TV as an example, since several of the high-end plasma TVs being made now use embedded Linux (and can probably be bought at Walmart). Obviously, those OEMs have no problem with GPL compliance.

now I must be more mindful when re-selling anything using GPL software in the future.


If you're a Walmart, just pass all requests/issues to the OEM, and if you're an individual selling something on Ebay, who the hell is ever going to bother to sue anyway? Its not like these lawsuits actually make anyone money! All these lawsuits we've been talking about are with OEMs (knowingly) using embedded Linux in (current) retail products.

Mountain != Mole Hill

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Why GPL then?
by umccullough on Wed 16th Dec 2009 16:10 in reply to "RE[4]: Why GPL then?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

If you're a Walmart, just pass all requests/issues to the OEM, and if you're an individual selling something on Ebay, who the hell is ever going to bother to sue anyway? Its not like these lawsuits actually make anyone money! All these lawsuits we've been talking about are with OEMs (knowingly) using embedded Linux in (current) retail products.

Mountain != Mole Hill


Well, I dunno about mole hills here - this is the slippery slope. At what point can a distributor of GPL-enabled products simply say: "Not my fault, go to the OEM" - I believe several of the manufacturers being sued here have in fact already made that excuse (VersaTek claimed their OEM vendor used GPL, and it wasn't their fault).

Since GPL compliance isn't about money, and more about making sure everyone complies for the purpose of ensuring that all users of GPL software retain the freedom to modify it - I can't see how my individual example can be excused as less important because I'm not a Big Corporations. But whatever - I guess this is the same reason that people tend to believe copyright infringement on a small scale is "ok" while copyright infringement on a large scale is "evil".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Why GPL then?
by Ed W. Cogburn on Fri 18th Dec 2009 12:08 in reply to "RE[5]: Why GPL then?"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

At what point can a distributor of GPL-enabled products simply say: "Not my fault, go to the OEM" - I believe several of the manufacturers being sued here have in fact already made that excuse (VersaTek claimed their OEM vendor used GPL, and it wasn't their fault).


VersaTek isn't a retail reseller like Walmart is. They are an OEM that used another OEM part that violated the GPL, without doing the usual due diligence before you use someone else's component in your own product (they apparently never even bothered to *look* at what was on that SOC they used - how many OEM's make *that* kind of mistake?).

If you're a systems integrator like VersaTek, then you can call it a slippery slope if you want, but your original 'slippery slope' example involved Walmart, a pure retail reseller, and I still don't see that.

Reply Parent Score: 1