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Businesses Software The Courts Virtualization Linux IT

Linux Developer Loses GPL Suit Against VMware (itwire.com) 162

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes ITWire: Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig has lost his case against virtualisation company VMware, which he had sued in March 2015 for violation of version 2 of the GNU General Public Licence... The case claimed that VMware had been using Hellwig's code right from 2007 and not releasing source code as required. The Linux kernel, which is released under the GNU GPL version 2, stipulates that anyone who distributes it has to provide source code for the same...

In its ruling, the court said that Hellwig had failed to prove which specific lines of code VMware had used, from among those over which he claimed ownership.

In a statement, Hellwig said he plans to appeal, adding that "The ruling concerned German evidence law; the Court did not rule on the merits of the case, i.e. the question whether or not VMware has to license the kernel of its product vSphere ESXi 5.5.0 under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2." The Software Freedom Conservancy has described the lawsuit as "the regretful but necessary next step in both Hellwig and Conservancy's ongoing effort to convince VMware to comply properly with the terms of the GPLv2, the license of Linux and many other Open Source and Free Software included in VMware's ESXi products."
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Linux Developer Loses GPL Suit Against VMware

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  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday August 14, 2016 @09:41PM (#52702107)
    Since "Hellwig had failed to prove which specific lines of code VMware had used", the verdict doesn't sound unfair.
    • You missed the point that the court would not allow Hellwig's expert's evidence. Perhaps it wasn't a case that Hellwig didn't have evidence, but instead that the court wouldn't listen to the evidence.
      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday August 14, 2016 @11:10PM (#52702347) Journal
        My understanding was that the experts said, "The code was copied, anyone can see which code was copied by looking at place A, B, C."
        But that isn't how copyright cases work in the German courts. In the German court, you have to say, "here are Exhibits A, B, and C, these are the lines of code that VMWare copied."

        So they need to follow the proper procedures in court. Usually a lawyer should help with that, but maybe this kind of copyright case isn't very common?
  • "You see, the court did indeed rule that I had no evidence my door had been broken and something was missing from my home, but do not let that distract you from the fact I have been robbed!"

  • Why use VMWare? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 )
    I don't know about the ESX version, but in my opinion, VMWare Workstation is a heap of steaming crap. We see VMs that slow down, even though the slow VM is the single VM that is busy on the host. Frequent re-starts appear to be the only solution to this.

    We tried a shared filesystem (shared between the host and other guests) and performance was terrible.

    Combined with VMWare firing the desktop developers [zdnet.com], I cannot understand why anyone would pay for this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Comparing ESX to VMware Workstation is like comparing Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Knoppix. VMware Workstation was basically a get-mindshare product for them, that most people used for free and which they never cared too much about.

      • Comparing ESX to VMware Workstation is like comparing Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Knoppix. VMware Workstation was basically a get-mindshare product for them, that most people used for free and which they never cared too much about.

        More like Minux to Gnu/Linux. Not in the same league and a different product. VMWare Workstation is quite expensive and no longer supported by Dell from what I read since Hyper-V is now available for free with Windows 8-10 pro/enterprise.

    • I don't know about the ESX version, but in my opinion, VMWare Workstation is a heap of steaming crap. We see VMs that slow down, even though the slow VM is the single VM that is busy on the host. Frequent re-starts appear to be the only solution to this.

      We tried a shared filesystem (shared between the host and other guests) and performance was terrible.

      Combined with VMWare firing the desktop developers [zdnet.com], I cannot understand why anyone would pay for this.

      Well try running a whole enterprise with clustering, eSAN storage, virtual switching, failovers, cloud integration for backups, expiring VM's, auditing for infosec, ability to move the VM's anywhere, and command line tools to automate tens of thousands of virtual servers all on virtualbox and let me see how far you get?

      FYI Vmware workstation is their obsolete product they made in 1998 which is a type 2 hypervisor. ESX is a type 1 which means no special messy drivers to translate things back and forth. The g

      • Well try running a whole enterprise with clustering, eSAN storage, virtual switching, failovers, cloud integration for backups, expiring VM's, auditing for infosec, ability to move the VM's anywhere, and command line tools to automate tens of thousands of virtual servers all on virtualbox and let me see how far you get?

        Why would I do that when i could just use ovirt, or the commercially supported version that is faster and significantly cheaper with 90% feature parity to vSphere Enterprise Plus, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV)?

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        The only thing that may even kind of come close is Hyper-V on Windows which is a type-1.

        Xen is type-1 as well.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato

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