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

Archos announces Android 8.0 powered electric scooter

We’ve heard of Android in the car, but how about Android on a scooter? Well, a French company, Archos, which primarily focuses on urban mobility, has today announced the ‘world’s first Android-powered electric scooter’. Dubbed the Citee Connect, the new urban transportation option will have an Android phone embedded into its handlebars. Read more

To capture more of the desktop market, Linux needs to target the average user

I've been using Linux as my desktop operating system for 20 years now. When I first started using the open source operating system, pretty much everything was a challenge. Back then, I wore that as a badge of honor. I could use Linux! There was something special about saying that in a crowd of fellow geeks and nerds. It brought respect. Not only could I install the operating system, I could get it on line, and do just about anything I needed to do. Of course, back then, much of what had to be done began in the terminal window. Without that particular tool, I don't think I would have been able to function within Linux. Read more

Ubuntu vs Linux Mint: Which distro is best for your business?

Linux is attracting a growing number of users to its enormous selection of distribution systems. These 'distros' are operating systems with the Linux kernel at their foundation and a variety of software built on top to create a desktop environment tailored to the needs of users. Ubuntu and Linux Mint are among the most popular flavours of these. Ubuntu's name derives from a Southern Africa philosophy that can loosely be defined as "humanity to others", a spirit its founders wanted to harness in a complete operating system that is both free and highly customisable. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and built as a user-friendly alternative with full out-of-the-box multimedia support. By some measures, Linux Mint has surpassed the popularity of its progenitor, but Ubuntu retains a loyal following of its own. Read more

Ubuntu Core Embedded Linux Operating System Now Runs on Rigado’s IoT Gateways

Canonical has apparently partnered with Rigado, a private company that provides Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) modules and custom IoT gateways for them, as well as for Wi-Fi, LoRa, and Thread wireless technologies, to deploy its slimmed-down Ubuntu Core operating system across Rigado’s Edge Connectivity gateway solutions. "Rigado’s enterprise-grade, easily configurable IoT gateways will offer Ubuntu Core’s secure and open architecture for companies globally to deploy and manage their commercial IoT applications, such as asset tracking and connected guest experiences," says Canonical. Read more