[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Oh No! Big Trouble in the land of GNU

From: RJack
Subject: Oh No! Big Trouble in the land of GNU
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 17:13:18 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090812)

"Yesterday, we reported that the Software Freedom Law Center had started
a lawsuit against several companies who they claim violated the GPL. The
subject of the violation was BusBox, and the SFLC claims it is operating
on behalf of the authors of BusyBox. Original BusyBox author Bruce
Perens, however, begs to differ.

Perens claims that this lawsuit is being undertaken without his consent,
even though the version of BusyBox disputed in the lawsuit is mostly his
work - in other words, he holds the copyright. "First, I'd like to point
out that I'm not represented in these lawsuits, and that the parties and
the Software Freedom Law Center have never attempted to contact me with
regard to them," Perens says, "As far as I am aware, and under advice of
various attorneys, I still hold an interest in Busybox through both
content and compilation copyrights."

The issue here is that while Perens indeed originally wrote BusyBox,
several other developers have contributed code as well. Later on,
maintainership of BusyBox has been handed down to other people,
including Erik Anderson. In a comment on Slashdot, Perens explains what

"The current suit is brought in the name of Erik Andersen. Erik worked
for an embedded Linux company, now defunct, for a few years and was paid
to maintain Busybox during that time," he states, "During that time the
company's name appeared in copyright statements, and mine mostly

Perens claims that Anderson, the company he worked for, and Robert
Landley have altered license statements and have removed copyright
statements from other developers. "[They] appear to have removed some of
the copyright statements of other Busybox developers, and appear to have
altered license statements, in apparent violation of various laws,"
Perens claims, "Mr. Landley once claimed that all of my contribution had
been completely removed from the Busybox program, using a
misinterpretation of Judge Walker's methods for identifying non-literal
copying to justify his claim. As far as I'm aware, he was incorrect."

Rjack :)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]