Free Software Foundation: FSF Lawyer and Board Member Serves as Expert Witness in GPL-Related Suit

Boston, Massachusetts, USA – Tuesday, February,
26, 2002 – Eben Moglen, General Counsel to the Free Software
Foundation (FSF), will testify as an expert witness in the Progress
Software Corporation vs. MySQL AB case currently pending in United
States District Court in Massachusetts. The current focus of this
case is a preliminary injunction sought by MySQL AB concerning a
violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL) by Progress
Software Corp.

Progress lost the right to distribute MySQL due to a violation
of the GNU GPL. Progress distributed a proprietary software
component, Gemini, that combined with the GPL’ed MySQL database
system. Gemini was linked statically with the MySQL system to form
a single binary program. Many times, the FSF has enforced the GNU
GPL in such situations, when our copyrights were at stake. We do
such enforcement in a confidential setting without the need of
court action. Since Progress distributes no FSF-copyrighted code,
the FSF is not a party in the case; however, the FSF takes a strong
position that Progress is indeed in violation of the GNU GPL.

Moglen said: “In our minds, Progress Software Corp. has
committed a garden-variety violation of the GNU GPL. We expect to
prevail as we assist MySQL AB in their enforcement action. We are
quite surprised that Progress has brought the action this far.”

The preliminary injunction hearing will take place at 2:00 PM on
Wednesday, February, 27, 2002 at the Federal Court House in Boston,
Massachusetts in the court of Judge Patti B. Saris.

Moglen’s full affidavit in this case is available at
http://www.fsf.org/press/mysql-affidavit.html. Moglen’s full essay
about enforcing the GNU GPL is available at

About Eben Moglen:
Eben Moglen holds a PhD. in history and a J.D. from Yale
University. Moglen is currently a professor of law and legal
history at Columbia University Law School, and serves as general
counsel for the Free Software Foundation.

About Free Software Foundation:
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development
and use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU
operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free
documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use
of software. Their web site, located at http://www.gnu.org, is an
important source of information about GNU/Linux. They are
headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.

Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

59 Temple Place – Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is
permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

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