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News/Resources: Blog

Emerging Technologies BLOG

A New Wave Of GPL Enforcement? Samba and Linux kernel copyrightholders join the fight

Posted on Friday, Jun 29, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Talk about unintended consequences: Rob Landley, a lead developer of BusyBox, announced that he was rewriting that program solely to disarm GPL enforcers. In response, several other copyright holders came forward to hand the enforcers some bigger and more effective weapons.

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GPL Enforcement: Is Copyleft A Force For Good?

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

The debate over GPL enforcement continues, with the two leading GPL enforcers lashing back at the “anti-copyleft” forces.

A few weeks ago, Rob Landley sparked a firestorm of controversy within the FOSS community when he criticized the GPL enforcement campaigns conducted by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).

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Is BusyBox Too Dangerous To Use?

Posted on Friday, Feb 3, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Rob Landley thinks so.  One of the principal developers of BusyBox, Landley was a lead plaintiff in some of the enforcement actions brought by the Software Freedom Law Center a few years ago.  He’s now leading up a project, called Toybox, to rewrite BusyBox and release it under a more permissive, non-GPL license.  And for doing that, Landley’s drawn a lot of fire from free software advocates.

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Operating (system) without a license: Does Section 4 of the GPL leave Google and Android device manufacturers unlicensed? (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

In my previous post, I explained how Section 4 of GPLv2 plays a critical role in GPL enforcement actions brought by the SFC and the SFLC.  By immediately terminating rights for non-compliance and requiring express permission from the licensor to reestablish those rights, Section 4 provides a stout club that can be used against companies who rely on GPL code in their products but fail to adhere to the complicated requirements for that license.  In this post, I want to examine what that might mean for an Android ecosystem that is not a model of GPL compliance.

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License revoked: Applying Section 4 of the GPL and the lessons of Best Buy to Google’s Android

Posted on Monday, Aug 8, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

Not long ago, open source advocates sued more than a dozen major consumer electronics manufacturers, claiming that the manufacturers had lost the right to use GPL’d software in their devices.  It looks like the same could be said of Android: virtually every one is unlicensed.

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