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08.20.13

The Conservancy Behind Samsung’s Decision to Embrace GPL After Violating the GPL

Posted in GPL, Microsoft, Samsung at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Software Freedom Conservancy did well

Summary: The fuller story behind Samsung choosing the GPL for a previously-proprietary piece of software that helps Microsoft

A few days ago we wrote about Samsung [1, 2, 3. 4] deciding to make it seem like it never violated the GPL licence, having done so before. Well, the group which years ago told us not to taunt Samsung over it claims to have just played a role. To quote:

Conservancy’s GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers worked collaboratively with Ibrahim Haddad, the Group Leader for Open Source at Samsung Research America, and fellow community leaders, throughout the process after this code first appeared on GitHub. Conservancy’s primary goal, as always, was to assist and advise toward the best possible resolution to the matter that complied fully with the GPL. Conservancy is delighted that the correct outcome has been reached: a legitimate, full release from Samsung of all relevant source code under the terms of Linux’s license, the GPL, version 2.

LWN wrote:

The Software Freedom Conservancy has announced that it has helped Samsung to release a version of its exFAT filesystem implementation under the GPL. This filesystem had previously been unofficially released after a copy leaked out of Samsung.

This is good work, but without the leak, would it have happened? Without some public shaming, would Samsung have cared? Sometimes there’s no choice but to be brave (blowing some whistles) and potentially rude/crude.

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