Ask any developer where to turn for access to the latest software code for open source projects, and you’ll likely be directed to GitHub—one of the largest providers of open source code online.
While GitHub has always been a great site for developers to come together, network and share code, up until a few years ago, the website had a problem. Though it was easy for developers to share code, finding the right software license to go along with it was much harder. The majority of downloads on GitHub, therefore, were taking place without the critical software license component.
After this presentation, a specific point was still under investigation: the possibility of an “opt out” clause regarding the updated list of compatible licences. This list is not only extended to the GPLv3 and AGPLv3, but also to other copyleft licences like the MPL or the LGPL that protect the covered files or the derivatives of the covered works against exclusive appropriation (prohibition of re-licensing the covered files or their derivatives under a proprietary licence) without any ambition to extend their coverage to the whole work or application in which the covered file is integrated or linked.
Allwinner has been taking a lot of heat lately for violating open-source licenses with their Linux binary blob components. They then got caught obfuscating their code to try to hide their usage of open-source code, shifted around their licenses, and has continued jerking around the open-source community.
While Allwinner has been caught violating the (L)GPL and resulted in obfuscating their code and playing around with their advertised licenses, now this ARM vendor is taking things a step further.
A long-standing dispute over proprietary software developers' use of licensed open source software code ultimately could be settled in a case against VMware. "[Developer Christoph] Hellwig sees his creation being used commercially," noted tech attorney Ray Van Dyke. "VMware feels persecuted for using a bit of free code. Now, a German jurist will make a decision sometime in the future."
VMware thinks it will be possible to find an amicable resolution to the lawsuit alleging it has pinched parts of the Linux kernel.
The lawsuit was brought two weeks ago by kernel developer Christoph Hellwig, who set the ball rolling in his native Germany. Hellwig's complaint alleges VMware has combined code issued under GPLv2 with its own code into products “without providing nor offering complete, corresponding source code for that combined work under terms of the GPLv2.”
Christoph Hellwig, supported by Software Freedom Conservancy (Conservancy), has initiated a lawsuit in Germany against VMware for alleged violations of the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, an OSI approved license. If you aren’t following the case yet, it’s worth starting with the statements published by Conservancy, the Free Software Foundation, and VMware.
On behalf of Merpel and all the readers of this weblog, the IPKat wishes to thank the IPO for what, he believes, is the first public response of any national office to the current unrest. He also thanks the IPO for its willingness to answer questions from those concerned about the present situation and what he hopes will be its future resolution.
It is very much hoped that other national offices will express their willingness to do the same, whether through the medium of this weblog or through channels more appropriate to the nations concerned.