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Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record

From: rjack
Subject: Re: SFLC's GPL court enforcement -- track record
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 20:39:57 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080421)

Tim Smith wrote:
In article <aHJgk.1205$>, Hyman Rosen
<> wrote:
The SFLC continues to file cases on behalf of their clients, who can
therefore be assumed to be satisfied with the service they are receiving.

What's puzzling is that rjack appears to be right about one very important
thing, though.  Doing a search of copyright registrations, I can't find one
for Busybox (or for anything else by the people listed in the lawsuits as the
copyright owners).

It also doesn't appear the Busybox counts as a non-US Berne work, and so registration is a prerequisite to suit.

Can anyone explain what is going on here?  Is the search at
not up to date?  Are the defendants not bothering to check because they just
assume the work must have been registered?  Is Busybox actually a non-US
Berne work?

From the S.F.L.C. suits:

"6. Plaintiffs are authors and developers of the BusyBox computer program, and
the owners of copyrights in that computer program."

Here is a list of BusyBox developers from the BusyBox site. Who owns what
copyrights in the BusyBox source code?

The following login accounts currently exist on (I.E. these people
can commit patches into subversion for the BusyBox, uClibc, and buildroot 
aldot     :Bernhard Fischer
andersen  :Erik Andersen      - uClibc and BuildRoot maintainer.
bug1      :Glenn McGrath
davidm    :David McCullough
gkajmowi  :Garrett Kajmowicz  - uClibc++ maintainer
jbglaw    :Jan-Benedict Glaw
jocke     :Joakim Tjernlund
landley   :Rob Landley        - BusyBox maintainer
lethal    :Paul Mundt
mjn3      :Manuel Novoa III
osuadmin  :osuadmin
pgf       :Paul Fox
pkj       :Peter Kjellerstedt
prpplague :David Anders
psm       :Peter S. Mazinger
russ      :Russ Dill
sandman   :Robert Griebl
sjhill    :Steven J. Hill
solar     :Ned Ludd
timr      :Tim Riker
tobiasa   :Tobias Anderberg
vapier    :Mike Frysinger

The following accounts used to exist on, but don't anymore so I
can't ask /etc/passwd for their names. Rob Wentworth asked Google and recovered
the names:

aaronl   :Aaron Lehmann
beppu    :John Beppu
dwhedon  :David Whedon
erik     :Erik Andersen
gfeldman :Gennady Feldman
jimg     :Jim Gleason
kraai    :Matt Kraai
markw    :Mark Whitley
miles    :Miles Bader
proski   :Pavel Roskin
rjune    :Richard June
tausq    :Randolph Chung
vodz     :Vladimir N. Oleynik

How does one untangle all the interwoven source code from literally years of
derivative and collective patches submitted by over thirty different
programmers? The plaintiffs must identify only their own original works of
authorship in the BusyBox source code in order to claim ownership of the

Rjack :)

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or
the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
-- John Adams, 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre
Trials,' December 1770

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