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AllLinuxDevices: FSF: Violation of The GNU General Public License (GPL) by RTLinux

Sep 15, 2001, 08:03 (40 Talkback[s])
"The Free Software Foundation today issued an official statement on violations of the GNU General Public License (GPL) by RTLinux. Victor Yodaiken, CEO of FSMLabs (who distribute RTLinux), has used a patent license to impose restricted terms on distribution of a GPL-covered program. The FSF opposes software patents, and in addition believes that Yodaiken's patent license violates the GPL of the kernel named Linux.

Software patents are a harmful government policy of creating monopolies that restrict computer users. We oppose this policy, and we think it is a shame that Victor Yodaiken has chosen to obtain a patent for an idea that we believe should not be, and is not, patentable. The patent covers real-time interrupt handling using a software emulation layer for interrupt masking, so that interrupts can be prioritized. There is significant prior art for this.

Yodaiken has attempted to use the patent to impose restrictive terms on a GPL-covered program (Linux, the kernel used in the GNU/Linux operating system). These terms conflict with the GNU General Public License, and imposing them is a violation of the GPL. We have told Yodaiken this, and we have told him what license terms would comply with GPL. He, like everyone, has the reponsibility to comply with the GPL or cease his infringing distribution. Anyone else redistributing a modified version of Linux under the restrictive patent license that Yodaiken uses will also be violating the GPL."

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