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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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  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:44PM (#38014812) Homepage Journal

    Only the copyright holders have legal standing - and they've already said its all good.

    Have all of them said it's all good? Linux doesn't use copyright assignments, and I was under the impression that Edward Naughton might represent someone who has had at least one patch accepted.

  • Headers are Facts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Your Anus (308149) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:47PM (#38014844) Journal
    SCO tried to cornhole Linux over errno.h being similar to BSD. SCO lost for the same reason and also because they suck. Unless they abused headers to jam in a bunch of functions that might be "creative" (and that would be their content anyway), the headers should just be lists of facts.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:48PM (#38014850)

    Aren't the bionic headers included with the Android source? I wonder who his clients are. I don't think he's wacky but he's certainly chasing a whole lot of nothing.

  • Re:No legal standing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Riceballsan (816702) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:03PM (#38014996)
    The headers are non-copywritable, the plaintiff is a lawyer with too much free time on his hands and no client. If you are worried about setting a bad precedent, I would be more concerned with the idea of lawyers suing for issues that even the supposedly wronged are upset with. Ambulance chaser style lawyers that convince people they are wronged before they think so themselves are bad enough, now we are going to get a bunch of lawyers suing without consent of the clients? What happens next, woman trips in store, says everything is OK, lawyer sues store for unsafe floors? Current problem we have, despite the stupid high number of frivelous lawsuits, even if we pretend they aren't a huge problem, all lawyers except patent lawyers are currently overpopulated to the point where there are more of them then jobs to do. Larger problem, now they are starting to make lawsuits without needing to be hired?
  • by canajin56 (660655) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:22PM (#38015212)
    Yes, they are included. But they are imported by non-GPL software, and he is arguing that if you #include any Linux header files, you are in violation of the GPL because even IF you also license your code under the GPL, you didn't distribute the Linux headers with your source, so you did not fully distribute your source code. And if you ever in the past have violated the GPL, you have lost your rights FOREVER and can never get them back, so fixing your "mistake" will not bring you back into compliance. And with recent Oracle v. Google rulings that APIs and headers are copyright and cannot be used without a license, they may be right.
  • Re:No legal standing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by canajin56 (660655) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:31PM (#38015328)
    If this is a violation, then every single piece of software linked against the kernel headers is also a GPL violation. Even other GPL'd software, since none of those ever include the header files they were built against as part of their source package, so they have all failed to meet the requirement of distributing the "corresponding source code".
  • by servies (301423) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:38PM (#38015414) Homepage

    Which rulings concerning copyright in Oracle vs Google? To my knowledge there has not been a ruling yet concerning this subject and I don't recall seeing one on groklaw.

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