2007-07-27

GPL upheld; Skype guilty!

despite their wide spread use; open source licenses have very little, if any, legal precedence. well here's one more for the books. its an interntional case, but a firm win non-the-less. i hope to see many more of these. we especially need some in this country.

i know, first hand, how many companies just ignore the requirements of open source licences. often because they feel there is no 'power' behind enforcing our licences. so anything that helps them realize that they can't just make things better for themselves without contributing back the code.

this is an excellent case for all of us writing floss software.
clipped from www.linuxworld.com

Skype found guilty of GPL violations

Skype violated the licence by its failure to supply a copy of the source code to users along with the phone, and by failing to provide a copy of the GPL itself with the phone, the court said.

The decision reinforces that companies must adhere to the conditions of the GPL just as with any other contract, and that "inaccuracies" aren't to be allowed, according to the court.

The decision shows that companies may be held liable for GPL violations in any country, even if the GPL isn't upheld in their home country.

The case was brought by gpl-violations.org, a German organization run by open source software developer Harald Welte, which aims to force companies to take the GPL seriously. Welte has said he aims to settle most cases out of court, taking companies to court only if discussions fail to make them abide by the conditions of the licence.   Continued

 blog it

3 comments:

Rob said...

I'm a happy user of Skype, so I don't really wish them any harm, but I'm glad the court ruled to protect the GPL. Even though it's free software, people have to respect the license agreement just as much as the enormous licenses that come with other commercial products.

Katy G. B. said...

i'm much happier with Gizmo Project it has much less latency and features i find much more useful. i'd go on, but i'd just sound like an evangelist(which i am). the biggest reason to switch over though is the its an open source project, and they're playing by the rules.

as for skype getting hurt i don't particularly feel one way or another toward the company, though i still hope they continue to grow. for many reasons, but mostly just for the people now relying on their success for they're lively hood. and of course anything that puts major telcos on there toes is a good thing.

i still say switch over to the gizmo project. they're open source, and on more than just a phone.

Rob said...

The Gizmo Project seems neat, but I hope it can survive the problems that things like Gaim/Pidgin did, especially in keeping up with sometimes non-open standards in messaging and VoIP. AOL routinely broke Gaim and Trillian, arguably on purpose.