[FSFE PR][EN] [GNU/FSF Press] Judge Saris defers GNU GPL Questions for Trial in MySQL vs. Progress Software

Bradley M. Kuhn pr at fsf.org
Fri Mar 1 21:47:17 CET 2002


Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <pr at fsf.org>
Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Judge Saris defers GNU GPL Questions for Trial in MySQL vs. Progress Software

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Friday, March, 1, 2002 - In a decision handed
down today in Boston, US District Judge Patti B. Saris ruled on the
preliminary injunction motion in MySQL AB vs. Progress Software Corp.  On
the trademark dispute, on which the Free Software Foundation (FSF) takes
no position, she has ruled that Progress Software is enjoined from
marketing products under the MySQL trademarks until trial.

On the matter of Progress' distribution rights under GNU GPL, she has not
granted an injunction.  In the public hearing this week, Judge Saris made
clear that she sees the GNU GPL to be an enforceable and binding license,
but that as long as Progress Software appears to be presently in
compliance with the GNU GPL, there is probably no irreparable harm being
caused to MySQL AB.  Since Progress did previously distribute in violation
of the GNU GPL and thus did harm MySQL AB and the Free Software community,
the FSF expects MySQL to prevail at trial on these claims.  The Court
recognizes in today's order that MySQL "seems to have the better

The Court fully recognized the need for expert testimony at trial about
the GNU GPL and the technical facts at hand, particularly as to why static
linking of software components into a single, unified, compiled binary
forms a derivative work of the original components.  As publishers of the
GNU GPL and defenders of software freedom, the FSF has a basic ethical
imperative to educate the public and the judiciary about the license and
its terms.  The FSF respects the due process of law, and thus plans to
continue to offer our General Counsel as an expert witness; Professor
Moglen has donated his time to the MySQL legal team, as he donates his
time to the Foundation, for the public good.  The FSF believes that the
best way to serve the Free Software community is to educate and clear up
common misconceptions about the GNU GPL, and will continue to do so
despite attacks from those who oppose software freedom.

Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
                   59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in
any medium, provided this notice is preserved.
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