05.30.09

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FUD Warning: Old Lies About the GPL Still Resurface

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Law at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer scared of GPLv3

Summary: Tiring disinformation is being spread about the GPL, probably in order to suppress its adoption

SOME company in Redmond (and the likes of it) must be getting very nervous about the most popular software licence, namely the GNU GPL. The amount of FUD against it seems to be rising and this sometimes comes from Microsoft allies like White & Case. We saw this several weeks ago [1, 2] and we are seeing it again in ECT, which lets the likes of Jonathan Moskin drop some disinformation about Free software. Yes, again.

Coincidentally, this morning we received an E-mail warning about this blog post from a prominent legal Web site. Our reader explains:

[Kevin Fayle] writes in 2009 about “test cases” for the GPL:

1) Copyright law is upheld in all countries that have signed the Berne Convention, thus the copyright license GPL is upheld in all those countries.

2) There have been court cases for years where violators have been set straight. However, it would be good to find the first ones and then point them to the blogger in the finlaw post.

This is a terrible myth that we keep seeing year after year. Is this a classic lie whose intention is to be repeated? That GPL was never tested?

we debunked this very specific point back in 2007, in direct response to similar FUD/disinformation, which propagates like a disease. Given some of the documents Microsoft unleashes about the GPL, it does deserve part of the blame.

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