Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Software Freedom Law Center Addresses General Public License

Filed under
News

NEW YORK, March 7, 2006 – The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), today announced it has published a white paper on its position regarding alleged General Public License (GPL) violations in relation to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The paper, titled “Sarbanes-Oxley and the GPL: No Special Risk,” is available at: http://www.softwarefreedom.org/publications/Sarbanes-Oxley.html.
“Recent discussions regarding the GPL and SOX have been wrought with false information and have prompted the SFLC to issue its position on the topic,” said Eben Moglen, chair of the Software Freedom Law Center. “It is our job at the SFLC to provide the best legal advice and resources to our clients. This paper will help users of the GPL, from developers working on FOSS projects to CIOs working at Fortune 500 companies, to clearly understand there is no new need for concern. The fact remains that no criminal charges on the basis of violating the SOX Act have ever been brought against a GPL user.”
The SFLC paper defines the realistic impact of a GPL violation as it could be applied under SOX. The SFLC paper points out that SOX generally applies only to public companies and that disclosure in a company's SEC reports is not necessary if a company’s use of the license is immaterial to its business. It also states that companies that must comply with SOX bear the full cost of SOX compliance regardless of the licenses of the software they choose. Lastly, the paper explains that if SOX applies to a GPL violation, it is not likely that a company or developer would be criminally liable, since the Act cannot be criminally violated without intentional misconduct.
“The idea that a GPL violation could result in jail time is unreasonable,” said Karen Sandler, attorney at the Software Freedom Law Center. “You take away this unlikely threat, and the argument is reduced only to compliance, and GPL compliance is remarkably simpler than that of alternative licenses.”

About The Software Freedom Law Center
The Software Freedom Law Center – directed by Eben Moglen, one of the world’s leading experts on copyright law as applied to software – provides legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software. The Law Center is dedicated to assisting nonprofit open source developers and projects. For criteria on eligibility and to apply for assistance, please visit the website at www.softwarefreedom.org.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel 4.15 Reached End of Life, Users Urged to Move to Linux 4.16 Now

After a very busy cycle due to the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, which were publicly disclosed earlier this year and later discovered to put billions of devices using modern processors at risk of attacks, the Linux 4.15 kernel series was released at the of January heavily redesign against two critical hardware bugs. Now, nearly three months and only eighteen maintenance updates later, the Linux 4.15 kernel series reached end of life and it will no longer receive support. As such, all those using a kernel from the Linux 4.15 branch on their GNU/Linux distributions are urged to upgrade to the latest Linux 4.16 kernel series as soon as possible. Read more

LibreOffice 6.1 Lands Mid August 2018, First Bug Hunting Session Starts April 27

Work on the next big release of the widely-used open-source and cross-platform office suite for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, LibreOffice 6.1, has already begun this week with a focus on revamping the online experience and improving the Writer and Calc components. A first bug hunting session was scheduled for the end of next week, on April 27, 2018, when developers will hack on the first alpha milestone of LibreOffice 6.1, which should be available to download for all supported platforms a few days before the event. During the bug hunting session, devs will try to fix as many bugs as possible. Read more

This Chart Shows How The Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 Now Compete Under Linux

It was just last year that open-source RadeonSI/RADV developers were trying to get the Radeon RX 580 "Polaris" GPU to be competitive with the GeForce GTX 1060 as it is under Windows given each GPU's capabilities. We've seen the RX 580 and GTX 1060 dancing under Linux the past few months and yesterday's 20-way GPU comparison with Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite significant -- perhaps most surprising being how well the RX 580 performed. Heck, just one or two years ago it was an accomplishment seeing any official Radeon driver support at-launch for new Linux game releases. So here are some extensive tests looking closer at the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle in this latest Vulkan-powered Linux game port. Read more

Linux 4.9.95

I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.95 kernel. All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more