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

Development News

  • KDevelop 5.0.3 Open-Source IDE Improves GitHub Handling Authentication, More
    The development behind the open-source and cross-platform KDevelop IDE (Integrated Development Environment) was proud to announce on the first day of December the availability of the third point release for KDevelop 5.0 stable series. KDevelop 5.0.3 arrives one and a half months after the second maintenance update, but it's a small bugfix release that attempts to patch a total of nine issues reported by users since then. However, it's a recommended update for all users. "We are happy to announce the release of KDevelop 5.0.3, the third bugfix and stabilization release for KDevelop 5.0. An upgrade to 5.0.3 is strongly recommended to all users of 5.0.0, 5.0.1 or 5.0.2," reads the release announcement.
  • PHP 7.1.0
    The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.1.0.
  • PHP 7.1 Makes Its Debut
    This first major update to last year's huge PHP 7.0 release builds several new features on top. Introduced by PHP 7.1 is nullable types, a void return type, a iterable pseudo-type, class constant visibility modifiers, support for catching multiple exception types, and many other language enhancements plus more performance optimizations and other work.

Games for GNU/Linux

OSS Leftovers

SUSE Leftovers

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/48
    After releasing daily snapshots without interruption for 17 days, Tumbleweed did slow down a bit during the last week. As already mentioned in my last review, 1124 had been canceled due to an issue with sddm installing strange branding configurations. And later on, we ‘broke’ our own staging setup and needed to bootstrap a few of them, making the throughput much lower than you were used to. So, we ended up with 3 snapshots since my last review: 1125, 1128 and 1129.
  • Highlights of YaST development sprint 28
    November is over, Santa Claus elves start to stress and the YaST team brings you one of the last reports of 2016. Let’s see what’s new in YaSTland.