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Android Google Open Source Software The Courts Linux

Lawyer Continues Android v. GPL Crusade 155

Posted by timothy
from the pound-on-the-table dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Edward Naughton has been insisting for months that Android violates the GPL because Google created a new set of Linux kernel headers that it hasn't released the source code for, despite the fact that it incorporates open source code. While numerous commentators, including those who helped write the kernel headers, claimed this code isn't copyrightable, Naughton in persisting in his crusade, saying that the questions need to be resolved in court for the good of the open source movement."
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Lawyer Continues Android v. GPL Crusade

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  • No legal standing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@b ... h u d s o n .com> on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:40PM (#38014746) Journal
    Only the copyright holders have legal standing - and they've already said its all good. Naughton should know that, but that never stopped anyone who wants to do damage by creating FUD.
  • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:46PM (#38014828) Homepage

    But is that the correct thing to do? So we should just ignore Google's blatant violation of GPL?

    The correct thing to do is respect the opinion of the people who have the copyright. If they say it's OK, then it's OK. It's as much a violation as entering a house after its owner allows you in.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:49PM (#38014866)

    Hi, Edward J. Naughton, nice of you to join Slashdot.

    So, who's paying you to bring forth all this FUD? Microsoft? Apple? I'm fairly certain you're not doing this due to your altruistic nature.

  • by SharkLaser (2495316) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:55PM (#38014924) Journal
    Well, I'm not ok with it. And I have contributed patches to Linux kernel, and those are my copyrights. I don't think it's good for everyone that Google blatantly violates every copyright law and most importantly, every privacy law.
  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:06PM (#38015016)

    You hold copyrights on the headers? If not it really doesn't matter what you think.

  • by maroberts (15852) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:09PM (#38015074) Homepage Journal

    Well, I'm not ok with it. And I have contributed patches to Linux kernel, and those are my copyrights. I don't think it's good for everyone that Google blatantly violates every copyright law and most importantly, every privacy law.

    Well if they've used one of your files, then go ahead and start a suit. If not, then STFU.IIRC copyright in Linux vests with the original author of any patch, so you'd have standing if any of your files were really involved. I strongly suspect that if you really had contributed significant patches to Linux, instead of trolling, you'd have a lower Slashdot ID.

    Its possible that Google do play a little fast and loose with some of their code, but since they've promised to release the source to Ice Cream Sandwich fairly soon that event will bring them into strict compliance with the GPL before someone can mutter copytright violation in court.....

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:03PM (#38015712)

    ... and you think Microsoft would go to court to "validate" the GPL for us???? ROFL

    I think Microsoft would find it worthwhile to go to court to "validate" that the GPL means that anyone who has ever contributed to non-assignment GPL project has standing to sue over any alleged GPL violation by any distributor of any work derivative of that project (they'd probably like to do the same with assignment-based GPL products under an intended-beneficiary theory, though that's more a stretch legally.) Now, in one sense, that would validate the strength of the GPL as a license for creators who wish to retain strong protection of the openness of their works.

    It would also help validate the perception of GPL works as legally risky propositions for downstream users.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:15PM (#38015880)
    Or a lawyer who is secretly working for a client with an agenda. Mr. Naughton's former client is Microsoft. While he does not say they are a current client, he has scrubbed his bio to remove all references to them.

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