IBM/SCO/GPL (Was: Re: (L)GPL remarks and FreeGIS licensing)

Alex Hudson home at
Wed Aug 13 06:37:40 UTC 2003

On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 22:03, João Miguel Neves wrote:
> They have been warned about the need to license the allegedly infringinf
> linux code before distributing (even through cease&desist letters) and
> they keep distributing it. They have the right to do it, as long as they
> license the alleged infringing code under the GPL.

Yes, but that assumes they are distributing legally. My point is that in
all likelihood, they're not. 

Of course they can get slapped down in court, have an injunction put on
their distribution and sued for damages, but I don't think they can be
forced to re-licence their code under the GPL - I'm sure that's not
available as a remedy.

So, the consequence of them distributing Linux would be opening
themselves up to legal action, but I don't think it has a bearing on
their case against IBM for misappropriation.

It may be the case that they get into trouble for distributing Linux for
other reasons - not adequately protecting the code say is
misappropriated, for example. But at the end of the day I don't really
think the GPL is going to come into it - unless they are found to have
been the people who originally placed the code in question into the
kernel, which seems highly unlikely.



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