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Bruce Perens' Statement on Busybox Lawsuits

Filed under
OSS
Legal

I am the creator of the Busybox program which is currently subject to lawsuits brought by Mr. Erik Andersen and the Software Freedom Law Center, and which was subject to previous suits brought by SFLC, Mr. Andersen and Mr. Robert Landley.

First, I'd like to point out that I'm not represented in these lawsuits, and that the parties and the Software Freedom Law Center have never attempted to contact me with regard to them. As far as I am aware, and under advice of various attorneys, I still hold an interest in Busybox through both content and compilation copyrights.

The basic claim of the lawsuits is that the GPL license terms must be followed by all parties that distribute works containing GPL software. I support this claim. The GPL terms are simple and are complied with by many companies. For example, see the distribution of source code by SONY at http://products.sel.sony.com/opensource/ . This straightforward distribution of the source code embedded in hundreds of their television models and other products doesn't appear to cause them any hardship.

Busybox does not endanger the proprietary software of any company that makes the most trivial effort to comply with its license.

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