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GNU is Not Unix The Courts

Palm Sued Over Palm Pre GPL Violation 374

Posted by timothy
from the license-quicksand dept.
zaxl writes "Palm is being sued by Artifex Software over the PDF viewer in Palm's Pre smartphone, which may violate the GNU GPL. Artifex alleges that Palm has copied Artifex's PDF rendering engine, called muPDF, and integrated it into the Palm Pre's PDF viewer application without the proper licensing conditions. The entire application must be licensed under the GPL if muPDF is part of the application. It seems more and more cell phones are shipping with open source code, but in a closed manner."
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Palm Sued Over Palm Pre GPL Violation

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  • the FSF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <.nomadicworld. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:02PM (#30348706) Homepage
    Those patent trolls...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:10PM (#30348766)

    Hello,

    As a consultant for several large companies, I'd always done my work on
    Windows. Recently however, a top online investment firm asked us to do
    some work using Linux. The concept of having access to source code was
    very appealing to us, as we'd be able to modify the kernel to meet our
    exacting standards which we're unable to do with Microsoft's products.

    Although we met several technical challenges along the way
    (specifically, Linux's lack of Token Ring support and the fact that we
    were unable to defrag its ext2 file system), all in all the process
    went smoothly. Everyone was very pleased with Linux, and we were
    considering using it for a great deal of future internal projects.

    So you can imagine our surprise when we were informed by a lawyer that
    we would be required to publish our source code for others to use. It
    was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something
    called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License. Part of this license
    states that any changes to the kernel are to be made freely available.
    Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money
    we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would
    now be available at no cost to our competitors.

    Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any
    products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to
    its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

    Although we had planned for no one outside of this company to ever
    use, let alone see the source code, we were now put in a difficult
    position. We could either give away our hard work, or come up with
    another solution. Although it was tough to do, there really was no
    option: We had to rewrite the code, from scratch, for Windows 2000.

    I think the biggest thing keeping Linux from being truly competitive
    with Microsoft is this GPL. Its draconian requirements virtually
    guarantee that no business will ever be able to use it. After my
    experience with Linux, I won't be recommending it to any of my
    associates. I may reconsider if Linux switches its license to
    something a little more fair, such as Microsoft's "Shared Source".
    Until then its attempts to socialize the software market will insure
    it remains only a bit player.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Funny)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:31PM (#30348890)
    Some of us are CDDL trolls, you insensitive clod!
  • by bug1 (96678) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:52PM (#30348998)

    Oh, the industry is moving to BSD-style licenses? When? What industry?

    FATI (Freeloaders And Takers International) made public anouncements that no longer will they stand by and take software that demands they do more than stand by and take software !

    FATI have declared they will setup a protest webpage at becomeafati.com where freeloaders and takers from all over the globe can declare their intent to idly stand and waiting for other people to give them what they want when they want it.

    LATE NEWS: FATI are demanding somebody else setup their webpage NOW and place it under an anything goes style license.

  • Re:GNU Icon (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:26AM (#30349200)
    It's like a Rorschach Test. You see penises in everything because you're gay. Get it? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @02:06AM (#30349742)

    Clearly you're not a typical grammar Nazi or you'd know that the phrase is "vice-versa" and that you used creditability when you mean credibility.

    Now cue the next grammar asshole to pick my post apart...

  • by Cprossu (736997) <cprossu2@gm3.1415926ail.com minus pi> on Monday December 07, 2009 @02:27AM (#30349846)

    Anyone else notice this? -> Mikael Ricknäs (IDG News Service) 07/12/2009 07:53:00

  • by TangoMargarine (1617195) on Monday December 07, 2009 @03:32AM (#30350144) Journal
    "I see your post attempting to be succinct and insightful, and I raise you an unqualified insult"
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Monday December 07, 2009 @04:57AM (#30350556)
    Careful!

    the fact that we were unable to defrag its ext2 file system

    ext2 stores data through the specific pattern of its fragmentation. Defragmenting would be like formatting your hard drive. Bad idea.

    It was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License.

    Actually, GPL stands for "General Public License", after the late General Reginald Franklin Public, who inspired Richard Stallman to much of his Free Software ideals when both were working on a then-classified national defense project (a device to automatically hack enemy computers that later was scrapped and reformed into the VAX line of computers).

    Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released.

    The GPL has a "mere aggregation" clause. It states that for any program on any computer aggregate with a computer running GPL software ("aggregated") you have to release the full source code to any program running on it. This is why Microsoft has come up with the "Shared Source" initiative - they accidentally installed the GIMP without reading the license.

    We had to rewrite the code, from scratch, for Windows 2000.

    Note that you are now required to acquire and release the source code for Windows 2000 through whichever means neccessary.

    I may reconsider if Linux switches its license to something a little more fair, such as Microsoft's "Shared Source".

    Do note that Shared Source exists to satisfy the GPL's "mere aggregation" clause, which also sttes that the license you release the source code under must be GPL-compliant, which is defined as being "at least as draconic as the GPL". That is why the Shared Source license not only incorporates all of the GPL's restrictions but also prevents any company reading any Shared Source-licensed code file, for use in programming or as a reference or otherwise, from making any profits at all ever again (Shared Source License, art. 19.b.ii.).

    Your company is committing felony copyright infringement and should turn itself in now before ACTA is enacted, which will equalize the legal repercussions for software and high-seas piracy, temporarily extraterritorialize the premises of infringers and set a mandatory bounty on the infringers' heads. If you don't want people to storm your premises and shoot you at their leisure, you should act now while the penalty is merely twenty years of prison time and a permanent ban from working with computers ever again for your entire company.

  • Karma? (Score:2, Funny)

    by webdog314 (960286) on Monday December 07, 2009 @10:33AM (#30352712)
    Given Palm's recent thumbing their nose at Apple and iTunes, all I can say is, "ha ha".
  • Re:Well (Score:3, Funny)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday December 07, 2009 @03:43PM (#30356780) Homepage Journal

    What? If you're too lazy to do the research yourself, this is not the site for you. Digg and Reddit are for those that demand everything spoon-fed to them.

    Here on slashdot, the subject we discuss tend to be a major part of our lives, as usually it's our JOB. WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE WE'RE PAID TO KNOW THIS.

    Elitist? No, I'm sick and tired of you too-lazy-to-work/study-for-yourself gimme-everything because I'm too stupid to look for myself people. If you can't do your own research and either confirm or outright deny what is said, you don't belong here.

    It's been that way for almost a decade, well before Digg or Reddit ever dreamed of existing.

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