Free Software Foundation opublikowało informację (pełna treść w dalszej części artykułu), w której oficjalnie zarzuca FSMLabs pogwałcenie zasad licencji GNU GPL. FSMLabs, producent RTLinuksa, wykorzystała rozprowadzany na zasadach GPL kod jądra Linuksa i dodała do niego opatentowane przez siebie rozwiązania. Wprowadzone przez nich poprawki stanowią integralną część zmodyfikowanego przez FSMLabs kernela, do którego dodana jest restrykcyjna licencja. Czyżby RTLinux szedł śladami AOLu, który też był na bakier z GPLem? (pisaliśmy o tym pod koniec maja)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Free Software Foundation Bradley M. Kuhn
Phone: +1-617-542-5942 Violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL) by RTLinux Boston, Massachusetts, USA - September 14, 2001 - The Free Software Foundation today issued an official statement on violations of the GNU General Public License (GPL) by RTLinux. Victor Yodaiken, CEO of FSMLabs (who distribute RTLinux), has used a patent license to impose restricted terms on distribution of a GPL-covered program. The FSF opposes software patents, and in addition believes that Yodaiken's patent license violates the GPL of the kernel named Linux. Software patents are a harmful government policy of creating monopolies that restrict computer users. We oppose this policy, and we think it is a shame that Victor Yodaiken has chosen to obtain a patent for an idea that we believe should not be, and is not, patentable. The patent covers real-time interrupt handling using a software emulation layer for interrupt masking, so that interrupts can be prioritized. There is significant prior art for this. Yodaiken has attempted to use the patent to impose restrictive terms on a GPL-covered program (Linux, the kernel used in the GNU/Linux operating system). These terms conflict with the GNU General Public License, and imposing them is a violation of the GPL. We have told Yodaiken this, and we have told him what license terms would comply with GPL. He, like everyone, has the reponsibility to comply with the GPL or cease his infringing distribution. Anyone else redistributing a modified version of Linux under the restrictive patent license that Yodaiken uses will also be violating the GPL. It is up to the copyright holders of Linux to enforce the GNU GPL for their code. The FSF is not one of them; we have never been involved in developing Linux, the kernel. The FSF holds the copyright for a number of other major components of the GNU/Linux operating system, but those programs are not involved in this issue. So the FSF is not a party to this issue in a legal sense. However, we have told Yodaiken that if he remains in violation of the GPL, we may well choose to support efforts by other companies to invalidate Yodaiken's patent in the courts, and we may also support actions taken by others to uphold the GPL. About GNU/Linux: GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating system with the kernel, Linux. Calling the GNU/Linux system just "Linux" leads to confusion. Making consistent distinctions between GNU/Linux, the operating system, and Linux, the kernel, clears up the confusion. About the Free Software Foundation: The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and free documentation for free software. Their web site, located at http://www.gnu.org/. They are head quartered in Boston, MA.
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