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12.15.09

Companies That Signed Anti-Linux Patent and FUD Deals with Microsoft Also Violate the GPL

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hypocrisy from companies that harm Linux (including Microsoft):
they use GPL-licensed code and do not obey the licence

Richard Stallman

Summary: SFLC/BusyBox happen to punish some companies worthy of punishment not just for GPL violations

THE SFLC has sued 11 more companies on behalf of BusyBox, but three companies that receive the most attention — among these 11 in total — are those who deserve punishment (or at least being reprimanded) for their ‘crimes’ against GNU and/or Linux. The articles we have found so far are:

1. Best Buy, JVC, Samsung, More Hit With Lawsuit

2. Best Buy, Samsung, others named in GPL suit

3. Best Buy, Samsung, And Westinghouse Named In SFLC Suit Today

4. SFC and SFLC sues Samsung, Zyxel, Western Digital and others over GPL violations

5. Multiple Consumer Electronics Companies Hit With GPL Lawsuit

6. 16 Companies sued by the Software Freedom Law Center

7. SFLC Launches GPL Lawsuit Against 14 Gadget Makers

8. SFLC hammers GPL violators

The SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center) is lowering the boom on more than a dozen companies including Best Buy, Samsung, Westinghouse and JVC, all which have violated the GPL (GNU General Public License).

Here is the original announcement at the SFLC Web site and a complete list of the companies sued.

The entire list of companies named in the lawsuit is as follows:

* Astak
* Best Buy
* Comtrend
* Dobbs-Stanford
* GCI Technologies
* Humax USA
* JVC
* Phoebe Micro
* Robert Bosch
* Samsung
* Versa Technology
* Western Digital
* Westinghouse
* Zyxel Communications

As a reminder, JVC signed a patent deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3] and it seemed likely to be similar to that of Samsung [1, 2, 3], which explicitly said that it would pay Microsoft for Linux or Linux-related software. Samsung is still signing all sorts of other special deals with Microsoft. They endorse Microsoft’s patent racket.

“Samsung is still signing all sorts of other special deals with Microsoft. They endorse Microsoft’s patent racket.”Best Buy’s shameless attacks on GNU/Linux are recent enough to be remembered as well [1, 2, 3]. Oiaohm has asked: “Who was the one that was spitting anti-Linux doc for Microsoft? Best Buy? Interesting that they were using it in one of their own products.”

Some people are rattled by insistence that the GPL needs to be obeyed. But even companies whose products are based on Linux can be sued (Palm being a recent example) and “compliance is the goal,” as the SFLC stresses. It’s not about “attacking” companies, it is about reminding people that the GPL needs to be honoured, not ignored.

Even Microsoft has been violating the GPL [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and this is seen as a sign that Free software is winning. It has become too commonplace to be ignored.

From the White House to (no kidding) Microsoft, open source shined in ’09

[...]

Perhaps the most shocking event was Microsoft’s submission of code for inclusion in the Linux kernel under a GPL license that Microsoft once tagged as a threat to capitalism itself. But it was not so much an olive branch as it was a brain freeze: Microsoft had inadvertently included some open source code in the virtualization drivers it eventually submitted for the Linux kernel and was more or less left with little choice.

Microsoft ended up in that same spot later in the year when a tool it released to create bootable USB drives for Windows 7 also was found to contain open source code. That tool also was pushed into the open source community.

Microsoft is even trying to encircle Python now (with IronPython), despite its ties to Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. When Microsoft is trying to ‘outgoogle’ Google with tools that are developed inside Google (after a major hire), then it’s clear that Free software is winning. Microsoft is just trying to distort what Free software actually means, by expelling the “Freedom” (with software patents, Mono, and poisonous culture inside key Free software projects).

GNU is being daemonised at the moment. As Jason from Mono-Nono put the situation about a month ago, this is a sign that it had become too powerful a force for its competitors to tolerate. The proprietary world grows nervous.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Sometimes attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

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