Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linus Says Android License Claim Is 'Bogus'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the who-is-this-linus-guy-and-what-does-he-know dept.

Google 116

jbrodkin writes "Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds has scoffed at a new claim that Android violates the Linux license. Google's use of the Bionic Library does not result in a derivative work that has to be licensed under GPL, as some lawyers are claiming, Torvalds says. 'It seems totally bogus,' Torvalds said. 'We've always made it very clear that the kernel system call interfaces do not in any way result in a derived work as per the GPL.' While some claims against Android can be dismissed outright, Google and its partners still must fend off patent lawsuits filed by rivals Microsoft and Oracle."

cancel ×

116 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581602)

The character from Peanuts says this?

Re:What? (4, Funny)

h0dg3s (1225512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581618)

Good grief.

Linus the clown (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582618)

Doesn't do much these days except say stupid things...

Re:What? (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581626)

No, this is Linus Torvalds; he's an adult, so everything he says sounds like "Wha-wha wha-wha."

Re:What? (1, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584266)

Not to be mean but I thought Wha-wha-wha-wha was richard Stallman?

So I forget (3, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581620)

Am I praising Google, or hating them today? It seems so hard to keep up with the trends. . .

Re:So I forget (5, Insightful)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581654)

Stop trying to make the world fit your ego and learn to accept facts as facts.

Re:So I forget (1)

MichaelKristopeit425 (2018896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581670)

the world where your egos drives you to tell others what to do?

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow behind your chosen lack of sanity based pseudonym some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:So I forget (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582150)

You take the phrase "go away, or I will replace you with a very small shell script" to a whole new level...

Re:So I forget (-1, Troll)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581856)

You must learn to accept tautology as tautology if you hope to understand CrazyDuke.

Re:So I forget (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582050)

If it is useless, why the feigned ignorance? It is possible to accept specific evidence that is contrary to a generalized belief. Just because, say for instance, one notices that some aspects of a religion help people, while others hurt, does not mean that their opinion on the overall beneficial or detrimental aspects has vacillated with each particular seemingly oppositional insight as to it's nature.

Or, do you see this as some kind of nerd herd with weak, wavering leadership because the supposed marching orders are not consistent? If that is the case, out of curiosity, who would you recommend as an alternative and why?

Re:So I forget (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582308)

Isn't that "Uncle Duke" from Doonesbury?

Re:So I forget (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585182)

If you are actually curious as to it's source: It's a comic book character I created back when I was a kid. It is a characterization of my impression at that time of what my peers considered socially upstanding behavior based on the slogans and logos they liked (collected on clothing and gear). Basically, crude, stupid, obnoxious, dangerously reckless, but ultimately fun loving behavior. It was, essentially, a myopically distorted and exaggerated vision of what other people liked in each other, highlighting aspects that I felt I lacked at the time. It cut both ways, simultaneously being a humorous dig against both them and myself.

It ceased being a light-hearted joke when "Jackass" came out though. And, no, I do not act in character.

Re:So I forget (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585676)

So, very similar to Duke from Doonesbury (who was based on Hunter S. Thompson). This isn't to imply the resemblance is intentional; just that is an archetype.

I leave with some of Thompson's words of wisdom:

----

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

----

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

----

When I came to, the general back-alley ambience of the suite was so rotten, so incredibly foul. How long had I been lying there? All these signs of violence. What had happened? There was evidence in this room of excessive consumption of almost every type of drug known to civilized man since 1544 AD. What kind of addict would need all these coconut husks and crushed honeydew rinds? Would the presence of junkies account for all these uneaten french fries? These puddles of glazed ketchup on the bureau? Maybe so. But then why all this booze? And these crude pornographic photos smeared with mustard that had dried to a hard yellow crust? These were not the hoofprints of your average God-fearing junky. It was too savage. Too aggressive.

----

Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. A normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker signal that says you are about to turn right. This is to let him know you're pulling off for a proper place to talk. It will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180 degree turn at speed, but you will be ready for it. Brace for the g's, and fast heel-toe work.

----

(And finally ...)

It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era — the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant...
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of 'history' it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time — and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened
My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights — or very early mornings — when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour... booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turnoff to take when I got to the other end... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: no doubt at all about that...
There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda... You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning...
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave...
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Re:So I forget (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582426)

Stop trying to make the world fit your ego and learn to accept facts as facts.

Facts don't get the word 'insightful' next to your name.

Re:So I forget (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582564)

Facts such as, "I like to lick butts!" get 5, Informative! I need to make sure I've been moderating correctly.

Re:So I forget (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582584)

Hahaha!

Re:So I forget (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583004)

what are those facts you are talking about? I mean this subject is a lawyers' playground thus talking about facts is really not in place.

Re:So I forget (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581668)

Tuesday, it's praise today.

Re:So I forget (0)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581776)

On My Side of the world, it is Wednesday already. . . Confusion. . .

Somebody tell me what to do

Re:So I forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581982)

Fuck man, stop begging for help in a forum, just Google it already.

Give me your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581990)

I'll invest it properly and I promise you'll get some fraction of it back.

Here, just sign this paper.

Re:So I forget (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583180)

Switch to UTC and hate anyone who doesn't?

Re:So I forget (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581690)

We come, not to praise Google, but to bury him.

Re:So I forget (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581694)

How about you just stop fucking caring what they do, like I did long ago. I promise it's healthier.

Re:So I forget (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581722)

it's about openness not a company.

Allowing interfaces to be copyrighted would threaten many efforts to create competing implemetatins, would threaten projects like wine, other similar project, opem or closed

Re:So I forget (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581900)

After the PC dies and all we have left are closed DRM platforms, interoperability and ABIs will be dead and irrelevant anyway.

Re:So I forget (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585680)

ehrm, isn't the biggest producer of PC software (microshaft) also a producer of closed platforms with DRM (Windows)?

That word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:So I forget (1)

tao (10867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583356)

Just posting to revert mistaken moderation :/

Re:So I forget (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581864)

They did nothing wrong here, so there's no reason to hate.

They do a lot of things right, and definitely deserve praise for those things.

They do have their downsides, and you should criticize them for those.

"Love" and "hate" is for fanbois.

Re:So I forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581920)

"Love" and "hate" is for fanbois.

So is 'good' and 'evil'.

Re:So I forget (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583838)

No, that is for politicians.

Lest we forget (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582602)

Hey, bud. You were the one polluting the other thread that this one debunks with your Linus quotes. How about an "oops, my bad"? Only a couple of days ago you were banging this FUD drum pretty hard.

Re:Lest we forget (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582730)

I did say "oops my bad" in that discussion - more than once, even. I got my facts wrong initially, and was corrected by other posters who pointed out the copyright exception in COPYING file for kernel headers, and noted that in my own replies. You probably didn't read the threads as follow-up comments got posted. Specifically, here [slashdot.org] I corrected myself, noting that app developers definitely wouldn't be affected (and so that part of the story is FUD), but that Google still might be infringing. Then when there was a new story on the subject which dug out that Stallman's old comment where he explained that header file consisting of "structure definitions, typedefs, enumeration constants, macros with simple bodies" is not by itself copyrightable, I posted this comment [slashdot.org] where I plainly admitted that I was wrong before.

In any case, I don't see anything wrong with setting things right one more time, so here goes: I was wrong when I previously wrote in several Slashdot comments that Android Bionic headers could possibly constitute a derived work from GPL'd Linux kernel headers, and as such would have be licensed under GPL themselves. Consequently, I was also wrong when I wrote that Google was possibly infringing on kernel developers' copyright on those headers by stripping away the GPL copyright comment.

Well, at least Stallman (and FSF's lawyer) claims otherwise, and now also Linus claims otherwise, and I'm not a lawyer to judge their claims - especially as Linus has a direct stake in all this as a copyright holder of the code in question - so I'll trust their opinions, and assume that I was wrong until there's evidence to the contrary. I apologize if my comments mislead anyone.

Sounds good?

Oops. My bad. (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583008)

You're right. I missed that. Sorry.

Re:Lest we forget (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585426)

Even more to the point, even if Google *is* violating the GPL in some esoteric way on this point, it's pretty immaterial if neither the FSF nor Linus think they are. As those are (as far as I know) the only two people/organizations with the standing to sue over it. This Florian Mueller guy seems like the Fox News of Linux blogs.

Re:Lest we forget (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582826)

I mistakenly accused him of being a troll - like many people, he knew that the kernel was GPL v2, but not that it was a modified GPL with, among other things, exceptions for userland programs. We both apologized, and it's all good :-)

I still think slashdot should have diverted some of the effort they put into messing up the user interface into giving us a way to edit comments so as to avoid the avoidable flame wars.

More interesting, if you go to the original source [itworld.com] , you get this quote from Linus:

I don't see what the whole brouhaha would be all about. Except if it's somebody politically motivated (or motivated by some need of attention).

If it's some desperate cry for attention by somebody, I just wish those people would release their own sex tapes or something, rather than drag the Linux kernel into their sordid world.

Maybe now that the xxx TLD has been approved, Florian Mueller can move his blog to fosspatents.xxx ?

Levels of Bad... (1)

linatux (63153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582390)

Just re-adjust their position on the scale - still above M$ & Apple & below OSF, Mozilla

Re:So I forget (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582596)

I was wondering the same about Mi©®$oft. The is their FUD against Google, Android and Linux. So hate MS, praise Google, and make up something Off Topic about iPhone.

Re:So I forget (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583040)

speaking of which - I just saw on BBC that Apple sued Amazon [bbc.co.uk] I wonder - do they actually produce anything these days or just outsource stuff (should be staff I guess) and hire lawyers? In any case I think more and more that the products of fruit company are for people with small penises - I mean one cannot explain all this hoo ha about their products in any other way or?

Fud... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35581630)

So, one more FUD refuted. Now Microsoft and Apple shills will have to look for something else.

Seriously. A lot of media pundits are nothing but paid writers employed by major companies - this is especially true for Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft seems to have been getting better slowly, but Apple is a whole different story.

*awaits troll moderation*

Would Microsoft be sneaky, tricky, dishonest...?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582184)

Would Microsoft lie to make more money?

Re:Would Microsoft be sneaky, tricky, dishonest... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584200)

"Would Microsoft lie to make more money?"

No never and nothing in their history would demonstrate that...?? link [groklaw.net]

Re:Fud... (2, Insightful)

Schuthrax (682718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582198)

While I wouldn't mod you down, I wouldn't mod you insightful. Maybe a bit trollish. I see that MS has a lawsuit going and they are being cagey about it, but has Apple attacked Google about Android? Hm...

Keep in mind, LINAL (Linus is not a lawyer...)

Re:Fud... (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582698)

Linus is the authority. You guys just don't give up your FUD no matter how irrational it is, do you?

Re:Fud... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584282)

Yes Apple is suing HTC and motorola, over android.

that way Apple can sue over both hardware and software patents.

I like many things apple," but I really hate the I patented a blue widget lets sue them since they are using a green widget that works the same way mentality"

Re:Fud... (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582704)

>. A lot of media pundits are nothing but paid writers employed by major companies -

You should check out The Province http://www.theprovince.com/ [theprovince.com] when a new Apple toy is introduced or updated. Last iPad2 intro was on the front page as a main story for about 3-4 days. Yup more important when local and national news. Which plays into The Province pushing for viewers to read their site through an app. Yes you too can get your The Province website through an app.

Re:Fud... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583198)

"The Province"? I would have never guessed that was BC. Kind of like Ohio calling its major newspaper "The State".

I guess they are going pro-Apple to try to prove Vancouver isn't just a suburb of Seattle? ;-P

Re:Fud... (3, Funny)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583020)

Seriously. A lot of media pundits are nothing but paid writers employed by major companies

Wait.

Stop.

You mean journalists work for companies?! And get paid?

Holy mother of all fucking conspiracies, Batman.

Re:Fud... (1)

janoc (699997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584060)

I wonder why anyone still takes this Florian Mueller guy seriously.

His fantasy claims were debunked several times already, his blog posts (yes, it is a blog!) are poorly researched sensationalist junk and he still gets the attention of the press? Reminds of the SCO saga reporting :(

Interesting (3, Interesting)

datatrond (1335087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581662)

This might be the most interesting post this week. Will be exciting to see how this ends. Anyway, can anyone tell me ONE (1) person, company, product, service, license or ANYTHING else which someone is able to make money on that are NOT having a long tail of lawsuits..? ;-) Kind regards, Trond

Re:Interesting (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581814)

I thought that this was the modern way of doing business. . Rather than competing by supplying a better product/service/price it is better to prevent competition by tying those that would be competing with you up in the courts.

Re:Interesting (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582838)

To be fair, you can only depress the price of a good or service so much by offshoring work, at some point you need to find something else to do, and lowering executive pay packages doesn't count.

Re:Interesting (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584100)

While that's the sort of thing that people love to trot out on /., it's mostly misinformed.

For the most part, the people who make money out of lawsuits are the lawyers. As far as many other businesses are concerned, taking someone to court is a damage-limitation exercise. You don't do it to make money, you do it to recoup some of your losses and/or to make a public example of the fact that you are prepared to do so.

There's a bunch of reasons for this, but the biggest one is simple: While you've got people dealing with a legal issue, those people aren't doing anything particularly constructive but you're still paying them - and the legal system tends to drag on very slowly. Hence why settling out of court is still a very common resolution.

Put it this way, if Darl McBride had put a quarter the money into making SCO Unix relevant in the modern world that he did into litigation, the name probably wouldn't be the object lesson it is today. (Yes I know it's a bad example, I know all the theories that the investment he got was only because of the lawsuit etc. etc. Nevertheless, I hope you get the idea.)

Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581760)

It seems like that would be the last word on any possible Linux claims, if Linus is still the copyright owner for Linux (assuming that is true?).

The GPL does not mean there is not copyright owner, just that you can continue to adapt the work as required subject to conditions of the license.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581830)

Actually everybody who has contributed to the file are copyright holders (Linus being just one of them).

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582128)

To be pedantic, not necessarily. IANAL but there's a good chance that the contributor of a kernel patch submitted it as part of his/her job. So there's a slim chance that the (GPL'ed) copyright belongs to the Company not the contributor as a person. There's also the matter of copyright assignment, but I've read that Linus (or the Linux Foundation) isn't as strict about that, as, say the GNU Project.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583134)

I'll keep up the pedantry long enough to say that if someone is contributing something "as part of their job", it is the company doing the submitting via their employee as agent, so it's still the case the contributor owns the copyright. Now, if someone independently contributes something that they created for their employer, that's a different story with all sorts of variables.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582524)

It seems like that would be the last word on any possible Linux claims, if Linus is still the copyright owner for Linux (assuming that is true?).

The GPL does not mean there is not copyright owner, just that you can continue to adapt the work as required subject to conditions of the license.

Haven't you heard of the Death of the Author?

It doesn't mean what the author intended, we can make up whatever we want it to mean.

Accordingly, I wish to believe that the meaning of the Linux code is um, the way to make a ham sandwich.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583278)

It doesn't matter who has the copyright because Linus changed the license text to allow linking with the syscall interface back in the beginning, so everything is covered by that license until it is changed, and everyone submitting code does so knowingly that it will be released under that very license.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583570)

If that's the case, then Linux is not GPL-2-licensed, contrary to what everyone's been claiming. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways: it's either GPL-2 + exception (which is not GPL-2 compatible and the GPL-2 does not provide for a means of removing exceptions, unlike the GPL-3), or GPL-2.

Re:Can't issue a copyright claim if not the owner (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583980)

In the original article (which took three links to get to), Linus says that there are parts of the kernel that are protected, only those areas intended for user-space are free to use without limitations. He further admits that he has not seen exactly what Google has done, but he seems confident that they would not be using those protected parts because they are only for the kernel and make no sense for user-space.

The implications is that if Google did in fact used those protected kernel-specific definitions and stripped them of their copyright notices, they would indeed be in violation. Nothing Linus says contradicts this; he is just assuming that this cannot be the case because he believes there is no point to it.

Now, the allegation is that Google did include those protected kernel-specific definitions and stripped them of their copyright notices. If this is correct (which is still to be determined), then Linus' assumption is wrong.

Can someone elucidate on the actual allegations and not on Linus' knee-jerk reaction to this, which he fully admits is not even based on a cursory examination of the actual allegations? Is Google including kernel-specific definitions as part of Bionic?

        -dZ.

http://www.buylouisvuittonoutlet.org (-1, Troll)

nancy110 (2011906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581832)

Owning a Louis Vuitton [buylouisvu...outlet.org] handbag, wallet, watch, or accessory is every woman’dream.Now Louis Vuitton outlet store [buylouisvu...outlet.org] is on sale in many kind of products, luxury trunks, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and so on. It is a good chance for you to buy Louis Vuitton [buylouisvu...outlet.org] products and make your dream come true.

prepaid and up (-1, Offtopic)

satsuke (263225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581940)

Look into a deaf/hard of hearing rate plan on one of the GSM carriers. It'll probably include a bucket of text you don't need, but it'll have data service for presumably less than a standard minutes plan. As far as the EU leg of your travels .. since your only charged for outgoing text and calls it shouldn't be too hard to get a prepaid SIM with some amount of data on it.

Though with Sprint/Virgin offering $25 a month unlimited data on a cheap android phone, it might be cheaper just to get two phones, develop on wifi when in the other country and just go with that.

Re:prepaid and up (1)

satsuke (263225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581984)

And it got posted to the wrong thread ... /. bug anyone?

Re:prepaid and up (1)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582180)

bugs in you reyes, maybe.

Microsoft? (0)

ayvee (1125639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35581976)

I'm sorry, but Microsoft? How the hell could this possibly affect them?

I'm no lawyer, but I assume the legal system doesn't allow unaffected third parties to be involved in lawsuits?

Re:Microsoft? (1)

steeviant (677315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582764)

I'm guessing Microsoft are probably somewhat involved in the patents they generated. I could be wrong of course, but the typical reason for asserting patents is that you are the owner of them and you feel that someone else is infringing them

Re:Microsoft? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583686)

There were no patents mentioned in any of this, dumbass!

"Patents" was another (separate and just as baseless) FUD campaign.

Re:Microsoft? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584132)

From TFS:

While some claims against Android can be dismissed outright, Google and its partners still must fend off patent lawsuits filed by rivals Microsoft and Oracle.

Re:Microsoft? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35584474)

As I said, another baseless FUD campaign.

Google is Skynet. (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582030)

And Microslop and all the others are afraid. Very afraid. Go Google, run them all out of town.

Yuk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582154)

Business in the US is conducted is such a loathsome manner

Where was Linus during SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582234)

Seriously. If Linus is the deity and keeper of every line of Linux code, why didn't he just cut the Gordian knot that was this lawsuit? He's the one person who could stand up to SCO in a code argument and refute every claim standing up. Yet he didn't. Why is that? I never understood why he just didn't come and put a quick end to this. If ever there was any time for a nuclear bomb to be thrown in this fray, that was it. Does he not have confidence in the separateness of Linux code?

Re:Where was Linus during SCO? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582436)

WTF?

Let's see: SCO claimed that Linux contained code from the original UNIX, and sued IBM. What you're saying is that Linus should have gone up to the judge and said "Your honor, that's not true, I wrote this code". WTF do you think would happen? Do you really expect that the judge would say "Ah, OK, that settles it then" and dismiss the case?

Re:Where was Linus during SCO? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582674)

I swear this is the third time in a week that the bottomline has been, "including a header file doesn't it make a derivative work." If this keeps up we'll need to develop a childish meme to cover it.

Re:Where was Linus during SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582912)

What are you talking about? The SCO case against IBM had nothing to do with whether "including a header file doesn't make a derivative work".

Shut up, fool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35583432)

That's right, you heard me.

Re:Where was Linus during SCO? (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582702)

Seriously. If Linus is the deity and keeper of every line of Linux code, why didn't he just cut the Gordian knot that was this lawsuit? He's the one person who could stand up to SCO in a code argument and refute every claim standing up. Yet he didn't. Why is that? I never understood why he just didn't come and put a quick end to this.

Are you serious? SCO sued IBM not Linus. Linus added his commentary [eweek.com] a few times [slashdot.org] . Also remember SCO avoided at all costs showing the source code to anyone. They delayed. Every time any code was leaked, it was immediately debunked. They deliberately refused to provide enough specifics even after multiple court orders to provide IBM with specificity. The judge threw out 2/3s of the claims because they refused to do so.

Even if Linus had the alleged source code in question and debunked every single line, do you really think SCO would have listened to him? SCO didn't even own the rights to Unix yet sued as if they did. The whole thing was a grab for money. It didn't matter to SCO that they even had a real case. They wanted IBM to pay them to go away. Except IBM is not one to back down.

Re:Where was Linus during SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35585008)

Also, why has he never presented his long-form birth certificate? He claims to be a legal American citizen, but has anyone ever really reviewed the document he claims proves he was born in Finland that he must have used during his process to obtain American citizenship and voting rights? I never understood why he hasn't just come out and debunked this once and for all. I'm just asking questions, you understand.

With all respect to Torvalds: (2, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582420)

His opinion on this matter is the opinion of one man. And his opinion's in no way privileged. He's definitely not the sole copyright owner of Linux rights, so Linus is unable to make a statement about the disposition of Google's activities that would be binding on all the copyright owners.

Last I checked Torvalds was a Software engineer/Hacker not a legal scholar or lawyer with tons of experience with the GPL and Intellectual property law.

Not to discount Linus, but I think RMS or FSF lawyers would be more qualified than Linus to speak on this particular area.

Because whether Google could be held in violation of the GPL or not is ultimately going to be up to the lawyers, and the question will only really even be raised if a copyright owner is raising a stink and intends to seek legal remedy.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35582468)

And his opinion's in no way privileged.

I think RMS or FSF lawyers would be more qualified than Linus to speak on this particular area.

I laughed. Thanks for the humor.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585728)

They did MAKE the license, you know? *shakes head at the troll*

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582592)

You are of course technically correct (the best kind of correct) - from a legal perspective. But you can't so easily hand-wave away Torvalds' influence - especially over the kernel hackers who share copyright. What the man says on the subject carries a lot of weight.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582752)

His opinion on this matter is the opinion of one man. And his opinion's in no way privileged. He's definitely not the sole copyright owner of Linux rights, so Linus is unable to make a statement about the disposition of Google's activities that would be binding on all the copyright owners.

Linus did not say "Anything Google does is fine with all the copyright owners." He did very specifically address the issues with the Bionic library and the API calls. As a software engineer and the founder of Linux, he would know exactly what the entailed. Specifically in the summary above he clearly denotes that.

Because whether Google could be held in violation of the GPL or not is ultimately going to be up to the lawyers, and the question will only really even be raised if a copyright owner is raising a stink and intends to seek legal remedy.

Only no one who ever wrote any of the Linux code is claiming that Google did anything wrong. It's hard to have lawyers when there are no clients. Right now the case against Google is with Oracle. All these Linux matters are being brought up as FUD.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (5, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582828)

Right now the case against Google is with Oracle. All these Linux matters are being brought up as FUD.

Oracle? Oracle has about as much right to slam Google of violationg the GPL as Satan would have slamming St. Peter for allegedly having coveted his neighbor's Xbox 360.

When it comes to Open source development, Oracle is akin to the planet killer from the StarTrek season 2, episode #35 The Doomsday Machine.

As in... Oracle is a giant open source project eater. They buy out valuable open source sponsors, and spit out s****. Look at their track record: Sleepycat Software (BerkelyDB), Innobase (InnoDB), Sun (Java, OpenSolaris, MySQL, Glassfish)

What do we have to show for it? Open source projects vanishing or perverted. In all likelihood these will all soon show to be abandonware or obsoleted.

Hell... OpenSolaris is already dead not just in theory.

And Java is on its way out, due to the way Oracle's f"""cking up suing folks over adapting Java to their needs.... (what happened to 'open source'... 'community'?)

Sun forums going away..... Oracle not talking to the community, except in marketing faux blogs.

Translation; Oracle.......... "Open source community"; except the community's being taken out, oh, and by the way, the source / development isn't open anymore.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582964)

Errr? In my world I remember something about Oracle suing Google over Java copyrights and patents [cnet.com] . Java is licensed under the GPL. Everything in the rest of your post is somewhat hazy.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (0)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583326)

That is because Oracle is the copyright holder of the java code. They do not hold the copyright to the Linux kernel, at least not the whole of it. And regardless the license of the Linux kernel clearly allows linking with the syscall interface:

NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582760)

Thanks for the laugh. That was really cute.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (2)

Seyedkevin (1633117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582766)

Not to discount Linus, but I think RMS or FSF lawyers would be more qualified than Linus to speak on this particular area.

While I agree with you completely, as cited in TFA, RMS states the following:

I've talked with our lawyer about one specific issue that you raised: that of using simple material from header files. Someone recently made the claim that including a header file always makes a derivative work. That's not the FSF's view. Our view is that just using structure definitions, typedefs, enumeration constants, macros with simple bodies, etc., is NOT enough to make a derivative work. It would take a substantial amount of code (coming from inline functions or macros with substantial bodies) to do that.

Header files don't have much information. Without context as to how the program operates, it's just a compilation of meaningless values.

Besides, even if this were to be qualified as a derivative work, who in the kernel community would consider it significant enough for a lawsuit? In reality, this is just a non-issue brought up by a Microsoftie to spread FUD by attempting to convince consumers that Google is stealing code. If the complaint was made by the owner of the submissions or anyone related, this would, of course, be completely different.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582978)

His opinion on this matter is the opinion of one man. And his opinion's in no way privileged. He's definitely not the sole copyright owner of Linux rights, so Linus is unable to make a statement about the disposition of Google's activities that would be binding on all the copyright owners.

Like he said, he specifically chose those license terms for this purpose when he picked the license to begin with.

Not to discount Linus, but I think RMS or FSF lawyers would be more qualified than Linus to speak on this particular area.

RMS already did speak on this issue - after consulting an FSF lawyer - and said essentially the same thing as Linus has.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583066)

I do not mind lawyers but more and more I think if we do something painful to them them then not only we will have some fun but we do something for the society at large. Now I am ashamed of my view of course but who is guilty of that? I mean it is OK to fight for own rights but this "it is my word - you have to pay royalties" goes in the direction - "your honor the accused used the conditional branching statement with 'if' too and that is our invention' sort of attitude. The same category as having rights to gens in my body. I think time is slowly coming to sort out this nonsense.

Re:With all respect to Torvalds: (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583310)

But it doesn't boil down to Linus or any one others opinion. The license text of the Linux Kernel has since v0.12 included this text:

NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".

Beats the opinion of one shyster lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584246)

"His opinion on this matter is the opinion of one man" ..

Beats the opinion of some shyster lawyer who is known to have worked for Microsoft in the past, a fact that he now prefers to not mention on his resume link [theregister.co.uk]

MAD (2)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35582762)

Shouldn't Google take a whack at them with their own patents? I mean I thought that is how everyone preaches the system work. Everyone won't touch each other for fear of reprisal. I would say Microsoft has more to lose in the end too if Google attacks Windows. If it starts to look sketchy for them a lot of companies might jump ship to another platform in case Microsoft is force to rework their OS. Google doesn't rely nearly as much on Android for income. Same thing could be said with Oracle.

Re:MAD (2)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583478)

Well the thing is MS has been in the game a lot longer than Google, so they have a much larger patent portfolio. Also, I'd say that most of Google's patents have to do with search and web technologies, so Windows and Office would be safe, and thats MS's core business. Yeah Google could fuck the shit out of Bing, but does Bing make money anyway? They could cause some problems with MS's Cloud services, but probably not too much.

So its just a battle on the periphery. MS has its base (Windows and Office) and Google has its base (Search and Adsense) but the battlefields are the new areas each are trying to move into.

The idea of patents is to encourage innovation, but its getting obvious to everyone that the whole thing is broken. What would be really cool is if the companies that have been burned by MS and friends by patent bullshit would form a "patent alliance" to both defend against this shit and to lobby the government to fix the patent system. Think if IBM (remember the SCO debacle) and Google allied to end this shit once and for all. If this happened MS would be well and truly screwed. Even though MS, Oracle ad Apple have a lot of patents, none of them can touch IBM. And IBM does have patents that can be used to attack the MS base and cause a lot of problems for them.

argumentum ad verecundiam (0)

myforwik (1465003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35583388)

The appeal to authority here is sad. It doesn't matter what Linus or Stallman says. It matter what the GPL says and what a court says. A court will probably find if any of the source code is re-used it has to be GPL'd.

Re:argumentum ad verecundiam (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585744)

The appeal to authority here is sad. It doesn't matter what Linus or Stallman says.

Only partly true. You won't need to defend yourself in a lawsuit if the copyright holders don't sue.

It matter what the GPL says and what a court says.

True.

A court will probably find if any of the source code is re-used it has to be GPL'd.

So you're saying that a wild guess from someone who is not an authority on the issue is better than an appeal to authority?
Appeal to authority is a fallacy if it is presented as proof; it is perfectly acceptable to appeal to an authority when seeking an explanation of something you don't understand.

It's linus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35584766)

...of course he would

Aggressiveness of Microsoft (1)

ajdub (520241) | more than 3 years ago | (#35585690)

Am I the only one who thinks Microsoft has turned incredibly aggressive (yes, even compared to the past) and has been playing a bit dirty with respect to phone stuff? First, an ex-Microsoft guy takes over at Nokia where he, surprise surprise, decides to implement a massive seachange in mobile strategy that includes dumping an existing effort in which millions had been invested and instead jumping into bed with Microsoft. Then some lawyer with close ties to Microsoft comes out with some preposterous claim about how using Linux kernel headers entails the derivative works provision of the GPL, thus creating "serious legal problems" for Android.

Who knows for sure, but it sure does smell like some kind of desperate business strategy. Which I guess makes sense, since mobile seems to be the way things are going and they've flailed so hard in that space...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?