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Some new FUD about Linux and Oracle is floated (Oracle owns Linux)

Apr 23, 2009, 22:02 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"Finally, it is believed that a substantial amount of code in Linux actually may belong to Sun and, with this acquisition, could belong to Oracle. While I don't expect a SCO moment, I would expect Oracle to use it as a bargaining chip to drive Linux in a direction it felt benefitted the firm.

""It is believed"?? By whom? Not by me, and I surely know quite a lot about the subject. I think I'd have heard. "Belong" in what sense? This claim will elicit strong guffaws from the guys who actually write Linux, but for any who might be tempted to believe such imaginings, let me explain some things, six reasons why this scenario is far-fetched and most likely impossible even if it were true.

"First, does he means patents or copyrights or what? If patents, Sun's Jonathan Schwartz already made a public promise to use its patent portfolio to defend and protect both Red Hat and Ubuntu Linux against *any* patent threats. The Linux community relied upon that promise, and it would, I think, be an uphill battle to sue Linux over any of them now.

"The GPL provides patent protection. Yes, GPLv2 also. If you doubt that, here's a paper you might find helpful, Potential Defenses of Implied Patent License Under the GPL[PDF]. That's written by two attorneys, Laura A. Majerus and Adam Pugh, and the paper talks about defenses under GPLv2, the license that Linux is provided under. Under GPLv3, the license is explicit, not just implied, but there is protection under both of the licenses. So Oracle is boxed in by the GPL, as is Sun or anyone who contributes to the kernel under the GPL or distributes Linux."

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