"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."