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Castle Technology UK Ripping off Kernel Code?

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the bad-company-no-cookie-for-you dept.

GNU is Not Unix 789

Jonathan Riddell writes "`It would appear that Castle Technology Limited, UK, have taken some of the Linux 2.5 code, and incorporated it into their own product, "RISC OS", which is distributed in binary ROM form built into machines they sell. This code is linked with other proprietary code.' Full details from Russell King on lkml."

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Pirates! (0, Troll)

Jack Edward Valenti (648235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254100)

I bet they steal movies from Kazaa too.

-Jack

Wait only the consumer is a pirate. (2, Funny)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254120)


Corperate Piracy is ok, its only when people share without profiting that its Piracy.

This is why Linux is bad but Shared source is ok.

Just call Michael Robertson for more info.

Re:Pirates! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254128)

Pretty popular thing to do. IntegrityMessenger.com stole Psi's code (psi.sourceforge.net) not too long ago. All you have to do is run 'strings' on the binary and you can still see word Psi in there.

Re:Pirates! (4, Funny)

wcmcgr (236664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254203)

isn't it a little ironic a messanger titled "IntegrityMessenger" ripping off someone elses code?

Re:Pirates! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254222)

Even more ironic is that they are a "Christian Messenging Service". What happened to thou shall not steal...

Re:Pirates! (2, Funny)

wcmcgr (236664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254278)

hahah.. That is even better.. I didn't notice that.. wonder if god made them do it?

Re:Pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254212)

well if you're gonna steal code, at least hide your tracks, don't be so lazy! :)

Re:Pirates! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254268)

Hah, I remember that. Before someone complained to them, they had even copied the text from Jabber.org's website word for word, and called the messenger it their own proprietary messaging protocol (patent pending!), when all it was just a stolen jabber client and the default jabber server. What a bunch of losers.

Test for the GPL (4, Funny)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254101)


Let's see if the goat has teeth!

Re:Test for the GPL (0, Redundant)

PhoenixK7 (244984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254205)

Not even going to go there ;)

FP, MY BIZNATCHES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254102)

Please suck my balls.

Kernel Code (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254103)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

sdfsdf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254105)

this first post is about peepee, which i love to drink.

Re:sdfsdf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254321)

on second thoughts, i didn't laugh on this one. But that first thought made me laugh. I dig laughing, so I guess I'm ok.

Sue them (4, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254106)


They should know better than to do this, they deserve to get sued and the money should go back to kernel development.

Re:Sue them (2, Interesting)

fitten (521191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254132)

Who would be the initiator of such a lawsuit?

Re:Sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254150)

I believe that the EFF is proactive in matters like this.
This isn't the first time.

Re:Sue them (2, Funny)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254157)


Lets see, uh Linus?

I'll tell you what, if he doesnt sue, then I'll take the kernel and release a closed source version of Linux with it and call it LinaazaOS

Re:Sue them (5, Informative)

Black Copter Control (464012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254219)

Who would be the initiator of such a lawsuit?

It depends on who holds copyright to the associated pieces of code. Best bet is that it's been assigned to the EFF, but it could also be Linus and/or some of the people who wrote the bulk of the code.

It'll actually be rather interesting (in ~200 years) when it comes time to determine when the code's copyright expires. Just who's lifetime does each piece of code expire in relation to?

Re:Sue them (5, Interesting)

wass (72082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254229)

RMS and other folks at GNU typically respond to issues such as these. That is, when people/companies have not followed the licencsing of GPL'd software. I believe the offending party has usually changed their policies and was never actually taken to court.

IIRC, RMS has actually been anticipating for a serious GPL breach to rear its head, so it can provide an actual legal acid test of the GPL. I don't believe any organization/company has ever gone to court over GPL violations. Winning any courtroom legal victory would be a huge boon to for the GPL, as it would demonstrate it's legal resiliance. IANAL, of course.

Typo - FSF, not GNU (2, Informative)

wass (72082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254265)

See subject.
Tis the folks at FSF that challenge GPL violations. Of course not folks at GNU, since GNU ain't no place or organization.

Re:Sue them (2, Informative)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254309)

As another reply said, it's the FSF not GNU, and I've also heard that Stallman will not take on a legal case involving the GPL unless the copyright for the GPL software has been signed over to the FSF. I might be wrong.

For damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254161)

what damages? How can show they were hurt in any way by this? What would be the basis of the lawsuit? As you may have heard around here, nothing was stolen. Nobody lost anything.

Re:For damages? (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254180)

I can make the same argument about ANY kind of copyright . . .

Sure, say the GPL is not defendable, but then ALL copyrights are not defendable.

Some may argue... (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254280)

...that Linux is somewhat unique here. If I steal your copyrighted book and sell it, I'm taking revenue from your potential customers. You lose money and customers.

If I steal Linux, I sell it and make money. But "Linux" doesn't lose any money (I'm personifying Linux here, bear with me) because Linux is free.

However, Linux does suffer damages. The thing of value to Linux is its user base. The only reason somebody improves Linux is because he's a user. If I take away a potential user by offering the same feature by stealing Linux, I'm eroding its user base, future development potential, and therefore value.

Re:Some may argue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254320)

> ...that Linux is somewhat unique here

Some may argue this, but not a competent copyright lawyer.

Re:For damages? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254252)

Companies like this sue individuals all day long claiming loss of "prospective profits" and "devaluation of brand recognition", whether the defendant has profitted or not.

We should be just as able to sue them for profitting off of something that is copyrighted in order to be free.

Ask them for the code. Sue them for the value of said code. They have stolen it from all of us.

Re:For damages? (4, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254256)

Copyright law allows for something called "statutory damages", which means that if someone infringes on your (registered) copyright you can collect a fixed amount without having to document monetary loss.

"Nobody lost anything", except control over their creations.

Copyright grants a partial legal monopoly on distribution of the copyrighted work. The owner can make people pay for it (the usual approach), or make them accept the GPL, or even prevent circulation of the work altogether (the way Sinatra pulled the movie "Suddenly" off the market after the Kennedy assassination).

Re:Sue them (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254163)

Yeah, thats the solution to everything. Sue.

Re:Sue them (2, Funny)

Idou (572394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254213)

"Yeah, thats the solution to everything."

It is if you are a lawyer ;)

Re:Sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254287)

> Yeah, thats the solution to everything. Sue.

(Shrug) Well, if you know of another method to compel an otherwise uncooperative company into complying with the GPL, let's hear it. Recall from the reference mailing list post that the company's been unresponsive to several requests for source thus far.

Re:Sue them (5, Interesting)

JamPonyXpress (635146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254215)

Actually, what's much more important than any money involved is that a case like this could provide a precedent that would prove that the GPL is legally enforceable - something that has not occurred to date, AFAIK. For this reason it might be a good thing if Castle is (a) guilty and (b) obstinate about it and Linus sues. (I just love the thought of Microsoft quivering.) It would have to be appealed a level or two for the precedent to be strong and widely binding.

Re:Sue them (2, Insightful)

zmooc (33175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254289)

It is this childish way of thinking that has brought the USA into the state it is now. Completely ridiculous amounts of money are spent on completely ridiculous cases. It was one of the things I heard Bush say in the state of the union - that he wants to stop this behaviour in the medical world because large amounts of money go there instead of in your bodies. Just talk to these guys first. Justice is still a lot better than revenge. And what you want sounds like revenge.

Yeah they should have known better (3, Funny)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254307)

They should have known better and instead stole code from *BSD, with no implications whatsoever.

Love (-1, Troll)

Mr. Troll (202208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254112)

Love to eat turkey, cause its good........love to eat turkey like a good boy should....

Linix.......by losers with no life for......either business or nerds with no life

it was bound to happen (2, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254113)

if you make any code opensource, you should be prepared for other's to copy it.

Now let us see what GPL does.....

Re:it was bound to happen (2, Informative)

Majin Bubu (455010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254228)

Surely they can copy and/or modify it, but if they want to distribute (for free or for a fee, it does not matter) the derived code in binary form, they must release the source as well, otherwise they violate the license.

Re:it was bound to happen (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254282)

Yes, but to copy it AND sell it? AND not re-distribute the modified code?

To arms comrades! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254117)

Lets /. them.

How dare they... (0, Flamebait)

velcrokitty (555902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254126)

take something that they didn't pay for...

Sheesh...

Yeah and they even intend to make YOU buy it (3, Funny)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254138)


They want to sell you stuff they stole, they should be raided by the RIAA!!! Get Em Hilary Rosen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Yeah and they even intend to make YOU buy it (1)

velcrokitty (555902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254202)

Yup - and that part sucks. Sigh...

Well, I just hope that they can get stopped, informed of what the whole Open Source effort and GPL are about, and they won't continue doing such things any more.

I'm just surprised that more places haven't done this before, and that people may be surprised that any have... It's a great set of resources - it must be darn tempting...

Hmm... (0, Redundant)

tqft (619476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254129)

Stallman's a lawyer? GPL is his baby? Tell him.

Re:Hmm... (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254232)

Who can bring suit? Who gets any awarded money? Stallman? The FSF? Anybody who touched the code?

I never quite understood how the GPL was supposed to operate when push came to shove. I guess I'm going to find out.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254291)

The FSF vigorously defends its copyright on code it owns; it does not own Linux. It will be up to Linus and gang to defend their own copyright, though the FSF might offer to assist.

And no, RMS is not a lawyer. The FSF's lawyer and chief enforcer [gnu.org] is Eben Moglen.

Stallman a GNU/lawyer (1)

dmanny (573844) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254315)

Would he insist on calling it a GUN/Linux kernel?

In other news ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254131)

Ford to sue Chrysler over would-be Pinto lookalike.

Re:In other news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254314)

perhaps you are thinking of the Chevy Vega?

They've recieved one warning (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254133)

And apparantly it just resulted in them trying to better hide the incriminating code in later versions of the product.

Okay, then. Let's get everybody forming into single-file lines; you'll receive your pitchforks on the left, torches on the right. Please, no shoving, there will be plenty for everyone.

Someone get the evidence...? (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254137)

And post a link to it? That'd be interesting. (And that way the guy wouldn't end up with 10000000 of /.'ers all asking him for it).

KING writes about CASTLE? (4, Funny)

monadicIO (602882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254145)

Is this for real?

So whos gonna sue them first? linus? N/T... (-1, Flamebait)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254156)

lol...

Does that mean... (1)

ajuda (124386) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254162)

Does that mean that we can take their binaries and distribute them for free? After all, if they used GPL code, then their code is also under the GPL.

Re:Does that mean... (0)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254191)

> Does that mean that we can take their binaries and
> distribute them for free?

No.

> After all, if they used GPL code, then their code
> is also under the GPL.

No. That's not how it works.

Re:Does that mean... (0, Flamebait)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254331)

No. That's not how it works.

Actually that's exactly how it works. For better or for worse.

Re:Does that mean... (5, Informative)

bwt (68845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254249)


No, it means that they are commiting willful copyright infringement for commercial gain. The penalties for that are severe and include the larger of statutory and actual damages. The statutory damages can be up to $100K, iirc. Actuals include any revenue which results from the infringement.

I hope somebody tears them a new sphincter, if this is true.

Public Letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254164)

How about a public execution!

Well, what did Linux expect? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254165)

What did Linux expect, when it offers its source code for free without so much as registration required to download? It's like keeping all your money on the front porch with a sign that says "please do not steal". People are quick to bash EULAs, and feel like they should be able to do anything because they didn't want to read the license or feel it shouldn't apply to them. This is why Linux fails and Microsoft is winning.

No, it's like putting. . . (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254297)

VC on your front porch, all radioactively tagged, with a sign that says,"Please help yourself to some capital, but if you make any money put something back in."

Oh, and this is magical VC, so as soon as you take something out it's still got the same amount in the box. Nifty, huh?

So, there's no real harm in taking out. No one "loses" anything. But if you take out, make money, and don't put back in you become what is technically known as a "shit head."

And even the law has been known to formally uphold what it is generally refered to as the "social contract."

Now the only question is what are armed South Vietnamese dissidents are doing on the front porch in the first place.

KFG

Re:Well, what did Linux expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254318)

You don't know what your talking about. Microsoft isnt winning. In 10 years linux will have all the servers and will be half the desktops. Linux will win because it is free. Its wrong to steal from free software, so people will boycott this company and they will go out of business. Stupid Asshole.

two words (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254167)

lynch mob

How to prove anything? (5, Interesting)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254171)

Being a relatively non-hardcore geek, I wonder how it is possible to actually prove that GPL'd code was used?

Once compiled and linked and what-know-I, the source would be rather obscure, and after all, other products seem to do the same tasks, yet not using GPL code..

Please enlighten me!

- rnger

Re:How to prove anything? (5, Interesting)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254218)

As I understand it, there were function signatures (linking information) indendical to all the functions from certain pieces of Linux kernel code. After their first request for source under GPL, they removed that information but the rest of the binary code remained unchanged. I would consider that pretty strong proof that they are knowingly stealing from the Linux kernel.

Re:How to prove anything? (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254238)

I'm if they went to court, the source code that was used to compile it would have to be provided. Of course everyone could sign and NDA, to protect what IP the company did produce on their own. Just a guess though, common sense.

Re:How to prove anything? (1)

the gnat (153162) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254239)

Sometimes all it takes is running 'strings' on the binaries.

Re:How to prove anything? (1)

miu (626917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254327)

Sometimes all it takes is running 'strings' on the binaries.

or 'nm'.

Re:How to prove anything? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254288)

Being a relatively non-hardcore geek, I wonder how it is possible to actually prove that GPL'd code was used?

Your statement displays you don't know even the basics of how compilers, linking, name mangling, code generation and stuff like this works. This disqualifies you from speculation. Source code for specific functions do in general create the same sequence of machine code instructions, using the same or similar compiler - hence there is a "signature" available. This is an area I know very well, and have more than once laughed at the inadept developers large commercial companies apparently have used. :->

Yes, you'd have to reverse-engineer the machine code, something that is allowed in most civilised countries, to make this obvious. Still, for anyone technically adept [in this area] it is obvious.

Had you also bothered to read the post, you had realised the allegedly infringing company had been notified before, and their only response apparently was to remove the "function signatures". If this was done by just removing an import library or by removing debug info isn't told by the poster, but rest assured he knows what he's talking about and have a pretty good case to display "this binary is generated by this GPL'd source code".

Re:How to prove anything? (5, Informative)

bwt (68845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254332)

During the discovery phase of the trial, the defendent would have to produce the complete source code and build instructions for their product. The plaintiff would have an expert follow the build instructions and verify that they result in the exact exectuable that the defendent ships. Then the expert would examine the source code for "substantial similarity" to the copyrightable elements of the linux kernel code. A judge would hear this testimony and rebuttals and examine the evidence it was based on.

Legal arguments on affirmative defences of fair use and licence compliance could be made. The judge would rule on infringement, then if the plaintiff prevails, he would rule on damages. Factors influencing damages would be willfulness of the infringement and the presense or absense of commercial gain as a result of the infringement.

grrr... (2)

Markusis (46739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254175)

This is the kind of stuff that really gets under my skin. One of the most important aspects of the kernel code is that it is Free. If it wasn't free, it wouldn't be what it is and no one would want to use it at all. Greedy bastards. Forget suing them, I'll fight them myself.

--Mark.

Re:grrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254251)

That is a very interesting definition of free. How can software be free if one is not free to link it to other software or hide the source code? This is very obviously limiting the rights of the user so this is not entirely free. Now go hurt yourself.

Re:grrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254260)


Things can be what they are, and good, without being free.

Maybe these people are just dumb and they made a mistake.

(Here's where I wish the GPL was easier for me to understand (or maybe I mean I wish I had skills...) Can I charge access to a website that I've built using GPL'd code? Can I run the same server software at co-lo's around the world? Can I franchise the business and distribute my server software?

-coward

Who would take the case? (1)

notNeilCasey (521896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254185)

Would Linus sue as himself, or would the FSF or the EFF take the case? If so, would it have to be on his behalf? IANAL, AY?

Evidence??? (0, Flamebait)

workindev (607574) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254186)

I don't know what is more disturbing: Somebody disgracing the sacred GPL for profit (GASP!), or the fact that somebody else actually examined a binary ROM looking for the binary signatures of Linux kernel functions.

One of the two needs to get a life (I'll leave it up to you to decide who).

Who files a lawsuit? (4, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254187)

Here is a question... Most OSS, and this kernel, specifically, is created by the contibutions of many individuals. So, who in the world can file a lawsuit over matters like this?

Would it be the many individuals? (They're probably not that rich) Would it be some benefactor, like Mitch Kapor/FSF? (He's rich, but has to pick his battles) Or perhaps a money hungry lawyer working for a fat contingency... Who files the lawsuit and pays the fees?

Have cases like this gone to court in the past?

Re:Who files a lawsuit? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254233)

Ummm from my basic understanding, Linus has retained copyright on the kernel, therefore he is the one to take any legal action.

Under GPL you retain copyright.

If it runs (parts of) Linux ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254196)

... buy the product: it must be good!

Place your orders at sales@castle.uk.co ;-)

Re:If it runs (parts of) Linux ... (1)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254316)

Of course its good! Its British! On a more serious note, RISCOS is actually pretty good. Its sitting on the inside of a lot of Pace STBs, as Acorn figured out how to do decent onscreen graphics on low-end TVs. The software wound up in Pace boxes as a result. Plus, how many 32-bit, multitasking graphical, multimedia OSes run out of ROM these days?

Hold on. (5, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254199)

I have a question, perhaps it does not pertain to this situation... but where do you draw the line about code being stolen?

For example, if lets say I stole a simple 3 line chunk of code that converts a date from one format to another, and threw it in my multi-thousand line project (which is all original except for those 3 lines), would it really be breaking the GPL? I understand that it of course technically is.. but at what point would the 'borrowing' of code be of such basic elements that really, there is no other way to solve a particular problem?

Sure my above example sucks (it's friday afternoon, brains already gone)... but what amount of code warrants a "you're stealing you son of a b*tch" title, and what warrants a "meh... it's not rocket science, hell, there's no other way to do it, even if he hadn't looked at the code, this is the logical solution anyone with half a brain would come to..."...???

Re:Hold on. (1)

flamingweasel (191775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254276)

For example, if lets say I stole a simple 3 line chunk of code that converts a date from one format to another, and threw it in my multi-thousand line project (which is all original except for those 3 lines), would it really be breaking the GPL?


Yes.


And the story referrs to theft on a different level. If someone can tell it's stolen by looking at the binary, the two pieces of code must be very similar.

Re:Hold on. (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254294)

The GPL covers specific code and not generic algorithms. You can't cut and paste GPLed stuff without GPLing the subsequent code, but if you read the code 5 years ago and that algorithm is really the only solution you can certainly write a variant of it.

Re:Hold on. (2, Insightful)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254306)

but what amount of code warrants a "you're stealing you son of a b*tch" title, and what warrants a "meh... it's not rocket science, hell, there's no other way to do it, even if he hadn't looked at the code, this is the logical solution anyone with half a brain would come to..."...???

That is a pretty good question.. If the GPL was enforced as some corporate IP agreements are - successfully - ever working on GPL'd code would forbid you to do even mildly related non-GPL work, at least for a year or so..

I mean.. I you work in any sort of development or engineering, your company owns any related thought you might have off the job, and you'll get in trouble working for a competitor within a period of time after leaving that job.

- Ranger

Re:Hold on. (4, Interesting)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254313)

A three-line chunk would probably come under fair use. Also, there are some code sequences that pretty much can only be written one way; again it's fair use. The fact that it's the GPL makes no difference here.

The line between fair use and copyright infringement is fuzzy.

Re:Hold on. (1)

OneFix (18661) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254324)

Well, it's fairly clear...if you admit to stealing that code, you are clearly in violation...if, on the other hand, if you deny that is where you obtained the code, they would have to prove the likely-hood that you came up with those 3 lines of code on your own...

In this case, it's probably a much larger chunk of code (PCI Subsystem and IO Subsystem)...and, upon review of the code, it will be obvious that they stole code...

Old Joke (0, Troll)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254207)

Why don't Brits write their own OS?

Because they haven't figured out how to make them leak oil!

Re:Old Joke (1)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254292)

I don't get it.

Re:New Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254329)

Why cant the yanks get on with the arab world?

Because they can't get used to their back passages being lubed up with oil!

OMG SOMEONE HAS DISREGARDED THE GPL!!!! (-1, Redundant)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254223)

*faints*

I hate to start a licensing flamewar... (0, Flamebait)

meme_police (645420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254224)

...but who cares? People who license their code under the BSD License don't waste time and energy investigating these types of issues. Instead, they keep coding.

Go ahead and moderate me down as flamebait for my heretical thoughts, but I fail to see how fighting these battles is at all productive.

This is unacceptable (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254240)

This would be like going after people who steal copyrighted material, like movies or songs. Oh yeah. What is the difference again?

I guess the only rules/laws worth protecting are the ones you agree with. This is typical free software propoganda.

They have nerve (-1, Troll)

nicodaemos (454358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254241)

On their RiscOS site [riscos.org] they make the statement:

RISC OS is a windows-and-mouse based operating system to compete with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux in an increasingly computer-orientated world.


What cheeky little bastards they are to pirate linux code in an effort to compete with linux.

Modern Pillory (2, Funny)

franzzup (96552) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254248)

They will suffer an appropriate, contemporary form of stoning. The story will be reposted on Slashdot until they flee in terror from the smoking remains of their Internet uplink.

Re:Modern Pillory (5, Funny)

Lancer (32120) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254325)

The story will be reposted on Slashdot until they flee in terror from the smoking remains of their Internet uplink.
Actually, odds are good the story would be reposted on Slashdot either way ;)

How sad it sullies the Acorn name (4, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254266)

Acorn Computers is the daddy of all UK computing. While the rest of the geeky kids were using Ti's the UK kids were hacking away on BBC Micros.

I still have mine here.

The ARM processor is one of the best CPUs in existence.

how ironic that on on this page :
http://www.castle.uk.co/castle/rpcalt.htm

the fish in the picture is clearly too big for the inadequate bowl.

They might find that their GPL rip-off is equally dead in the water.

It's a sad day all round. Time to flush them down the toilet.

whoring :

if anyone lives nearby maybe they could pop in on Monday and get the sourcecode

Castle Technology Ltd
Ore Trading Estate
Woodbridge Road
Framlingham
Suffolk
IP13 9LL UK

Sales Telephone Line: 01728 723 200
Lines Open: Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00

Sales Fax Line: 01728 727 427
Lines Open: 24hrs every day

Support Line: 01728 727 424
Lines Open: Monday-Friday 9:00-12:00

Email: sales@castle.uk.co

Getting some backing. (2, Interesting)

mestoph (620399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254273)

Should anything actually happen. Which I whole-heartily agree that something should happen. Maybe even the bigger distributions and users could actually back up Linus and other writers (i.e. redhat, mandrake, debian, IBM, sgi etc). After all they have a vested interest in the continuing development of code to support marketed products, which can only decline if people feel ripped off and there enthusiasm declines. And then such companies i) have loss of profits, ii) have to put money back into the funding they have tryed to save on by using linux. The main reasoning here, is without decent backing you lose, just because you can't fund any action.

The Risc OS / hardware (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254275)

platform reminds me of the LART project [tudelft.nl] . Anyone else more knowledgable about this care to comment?

so which is worse (1, Offtopic)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254277)

which is worse... stealing non-free code, or selling free code?

GPL Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254296)

I don't get it, someone enlighten me: Any program that uses the GPL'd code HAS to be available for free in both binary and source form? What about Lindows? You can get their source for free but you can't download the OS (binaries) for free. Are they disregarding the GPL too?

What's really stupid... (3, Funny)

Wntrmute (18056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254302)

...Is that they could have borrowed code from a BSD instead, and no one would care, as the license specifically permits it.

If these allegations are true, not only are they violating the GPL, they're morons to boot. :-)

They Claim The Copyright Is Theirs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5254310)

If you look at their conditions of trading, condition 17 [iyonix.com] seems to lay claim to the copyright of the product (admittedly this does not explicitly mention the software, though it is arguably implicit). It appears they have not only used the code, they are claiming it is their own.

This needs to be defended very quickly otherwise they could turn the tables and actually sue any Linux distributors for copyright violation by claiming the Linux kernel has copied their copyrighted code.

Information wants to be free (3, Insightful)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254333)

Information wants to be free! Let Castle Technology do what they want to with the kernel code. The GPL, after all, is juat another form of copyright. Copyrights only exist to create artifical monopolys that do not exist!

Obviously, the above argument is absurd, but points out that Slashdot has a double standard. On one hand, it is ok when a 14-year-old violates the copyright of a RIAA or MPAA-owned company. On the other hand, it is not OK when a company releases GPL under terms not compatible with the GPL.

So, what is it going to be? Do we respect both the RIAA's copyright and the copyright which GPL programs have, or do we respect neither?

If you want the GPL to be respected, respect other people's copyrights.

- Sam

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