Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Lawsuit threatens to break new ground on the GPL and software licensing issues

Filed under
OSS
Legal

GPLv2 is one of the most widely used FOSS licenses, if not the most. It is the license for some of the most important and commercially valuable FOSS projects, including the Linux kernel, whose contributors include such uncomfortable bedfellows as Oracle and Google, Intel and AMD, and Cisco and Huawei. If XimpleWare is right, and a license under GPLv2 offers no protection from the licensor's patents, Linux would be a landmine for these companies, and really for any company with fewer patents than IBM.

Even without an explicit patent grant, lawyers advising businesses on FOSS issues generally agree that GPLv2 protects licensees (at least those in compliance with the license terms) from patent suits by licensors. This is because the law provides for an implied license (or judicial estoppel) where a licensor's conduct leads the licensee to believe it will not be sued, or where fairness otherwise demands that the licensor should be prevented from suing. Because the GPL encourages licensees to copy, modify, and distribute the licensed software—all conduct that would infringe any patents on the software absent a license—licensees can reasonably expect that the software's producers won't sue them for doing those things. (Adam Pugh and Laura A. Majerus of Fenwick & West discuss GPLv2's implied patent license in greater detail in this paper.)

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Servers: Microservice, Clear Linux/Containers, Spaceborne Computer

  • Microservice architecture takes a whole new approach to infrastructure
    With services like Netflix, Uber, YouTube, and Facebook, most people are used to apps that respond quickly, work efficiently, and are updated regularly. Patience is no longer a virtue, and thanks to apps like the ones mentioned above, when people use applications, they expect blistering speeds and uninterrupted service. If you do not provide that, users aren’t exactly starved for choice; it takes less than a minute to delete an app and download something else as a replacement.
  • Clear Linux Project Announces the Next Generation of Intel's Clear Containers
    Intel's Clear Linux and Clear Containers teams are happy to introduce the next-generation of Intel's Clear Containers project, version 3.0, which bring many important new features and performance improvements. Rewritten in the Go language, Intel Clear Containers 3.0 introduces support for leveraging code used for namespace-based containers and better integrates into the container ecosystem, allowing support for Docker container engine and Kubernetes. It also improves the compatibility with the POSIX family of standards. "Today’s release presents a generational and architectural shift to utilize virtcontainers, a modular and hypervisor agnostic library for hardware virtualized containers. Clear Containers 3.0 is written in Go language and boasts an OCI compatible runtime implementation (cc-runtime) that works both on top of virtcontainers, and as a platform for deployment," said Amy L Leeland, Technical Program Manager, Intel Corporation.
  • “Spaceborne” Linux Supercomputer Starts Running In Space, Achieves 1 Teraflop Speed
    About one month ago, the HPE’s Spaceborne Computer was launched into the space using SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft. This beast was launched as a result of a partnership between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and NASA to find out how high-performance computers perform in space. Now, this supercomputer is fully installed and operational in ISS. The performance experiment will be carried out for one year, which is roughly the time it will take for a spacecraft to travel to Mars. At the moment, lots of calculations for space research projects are carried out on Earth, but this brings in an unavoidable factor of latency.

System76's Pop!_OS Linux to Get a Beta Release Next Week with HiDPI Improvements

System76 is getting ready to unleash the first Beta release of their upcoming Pop!_OS Linux distribution, which should be available to download next week based on the Ubuntu 17.10 Final Beta. It appears that System76's development team recently dropped focus on the Pop!_OS Installer, which they develop in collaboration with the elementary OS team, to concentrate on fixing critical bugs and add the final touches to the Beta release. They still need to add some patches to fix backlight brightness issues on Nvidia GPUs. Read more

Server: Red Hat, Security, Samba, Docker, Microsoft Canonical and MongoDB

PocketBeagle and Android