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IT Manager's Journal: Sarbanes-Oxley May Up the Ante for GPL Violations

Feb 21, 2006, 16:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jay Lyman)

"What happens if you violate the GNU General Public License (GPL)? Historically, you'd earn the scorn of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the open source community, and you might have to disclose or rewrite some code. However, the intellectual property disclosure requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 may present an additional threat to companies that violate the GPL.

"'If you don't comply with the license, you have no right to use the software. If you're saying to shareholders you do, that is a misrepresentation,' explains Jay Michaelson, general counsel for embedded systems seller Wasabi Systems. Wasabi itself uses GPLed code, Michaelson says, and about half of the company's revenue comes from its embedded BSD products..."

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