Clarification on a few points
Posted Jan 31, 2012 19:13 UTC (Tue) by BrucePerens
In reply to: Clarification on a few points
Parent article: Garrett: The ongoing fight against GPL enforcement
I'm the original author of Busybox, and the person who placed the GPL upon it. I am not a party to the lawsuits regarding it. Instead, I offer my services to the infringing companies, to help them cure their infringement to the satisfaction of all developers.
BSD-like licenses can be enforced as well as the GPL, as we showed in Jacobsen v. Katzer. Many, many companies fail to follow the license presentation requirements of the BSD license. There are a great many copyright holders out there, GPL and BSD both, and we need just one who is represented in code on the device to enforce. So, I don't think you can achieve your legal goal by replacing Busybox.
As a representative of the companies that have been contacted by SFC, I have experienced the settlement terms of SFC firsthand. Those requirements are:
- The infringing party must resolve all infringements in the device, whether those infringements are in Busybox or other software such as the Linux kernel.
- The infringing party must provide new products containing similar software for audit before release, for a period of three years after the settlement.
- The infringing party must set up a compliance program.
I've also had to pay SFC for the technical work on the audit. They charge a lot less than I do, and less than any sane legal-technical practitioner in New York City should charge.
The only unfair thing SFC does, as far as I'm aware, is that they don't involve me in the busybox cases, although I'm the original developer and my code is still present. And this is the requirement of their clients Eric Andersen and Rob Landley. So, I went to work for the other side, helping them to cure the infringement. Frankly, that side pays better anyway.
I think you're off base regarding the legal and moral stance of SFC, and your own moral position stinks. Help your clients perform due diligence, rather than helping them avoid enforcement.
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