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Does Using GPL Software Violate Sarbanes-Oxley?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the dispelling-fud dept.

272

Anonymous Coward writes "eWeek is reporting that The Software Freedom Law Center has published a white paper that dismisses recent publications from embedded systems seller Wasabi Systems. Wasabi recently released statements focusing on alleged GNU General Public License violations in relation to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The white paper, titled "Sarbanes-Oxley and the GPL: No Special Risk," essentially counsels users of the free software license that they have no need to worry."

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Worded poorly. (3, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869442)

The SFLC wrote the paper titled "No Special Risk" ... Wasabi Systems [wasabisystems.com] alleged SO violations.

And no surprise...they advertise BSD-based products on their front page. (Not dissing Any of the BSDs, they're cool, IMO.)

So what if it does violate SO (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870007)

People who think for themselves will one day realize that in the end, it's all about FREEDOM. Corporations do not have your best interests at heart and never will. The GPL is where the future of free software is, and only the GPL. People who bitch and moan about things will one day thank the GPL for being what it is. Corporations are becoming stronger. GPL software can never be stopped by anyone, ever, anytime.

Act of 2002? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869443)

Slashdot: News from 4 years ago for nerds. Stuff that mattered.

Re:Act of 2002? (-1, Troll)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869488)

So if I committed murder/theft/assault/, would it not be "news" on the grounds of it having been in a law that was passed a long time ago? Legal issues often arise from laws several years down the stretch. This is making news now because S-Ox is only now clashing with GPL issues (if it is)

Slightly off topic but .... (3, Funny)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869447)

Who can recommend a good book on IT 404?

Re:Slightly off topic but .... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869607)

Re:Slightly off topic but .... (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869657)

Who can recommend a good book on IT 404?

I searched Amazon, but all I got was 'File not found'...

CSPAN called (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869460)

they want their boring back.

Re:CSPAN called (2, Funny)

caudron (466327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870239)

The 90's called. They want their joke back. ;-)

And just to head the smart replies off at the pass...

The Jerk factory called. It wants me back. I'm outtie.

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com [digitalelite.com]

More info on SOX (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869461)

In case you have no clue what "Sarbanes-Oxley" is, you can check out official info [aicpa.org] and the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] . Basically it is a set of laws that place limits on what companies (and those working for them, especially upper management) can do. This has mostly to do with declaring assets and transfers of money. It tries to prevent companies from defrauding investors and so on. These laws were enacted after the Enron scandal.

Wasabi's complaint [wasabisystems.com] is that under these laws, you have to declare all assets, including intellectual property. Their rationale is that using open-source software, you may be in violation of the law if you do not review and declare that usage.

As was pointed out last time this was discussed on slashdot [slashdot.org] , a company would only be in trouble if they were already doing something illegal: violating the GPL. If you violate the GPL, then you're misrepresenting your ownership of IP (claiming to have a license you don't), and thus are also violating Sarbanes-Oxley.

So what's the problem? If a company follows the GPL, then everything is fine. They have nothing to worry about. If they violate the GPL, then they're breaking multiple laws. So, as always, companies should make sure that what they are doing is legal. This in no way diminishes the extent to which GPL software can be used in commercial environments. Wasabi acts as if there is some tremendous additional legal burden to using GPL software. However it seems that Sarbanes-Oxley would equally apply if you mis-represented your ownership of non-GPL software. So there's no difference. (You can read the Software Freedom Law Center white paper [softwarefreedom.org] for a more complete explanation.)

Re:More info on SOX (4, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869577)

More importanly, you can substitute any other license for "GPL" in the parent post. If you misappropriate software under any license, you could have some liability. Duh.

Re:More info on SOX (5, Insightful)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869745)

In almost EVERY argument against the GPL, you can substitute any other license for "GPL", and the argument would still hold true.

One of the biggest arguments against the GPL is that if you use it in your own code, you have to agree to its terms. In the case of the GPL, those terms mean that your code must be GPLed. Other licenses set other terms; many licenses don't even ALLOW you to use their code in your code. In any case, if you don't follow the terms, you can be sued for copyright violation. So you always have a choice, no matter what the license -- either follow the license, or get sued.

Re:More info on SOX (2, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870017)

One of the biggest arguments against the GPL is that if you use it in your own code, you have to agree to its terms.

How is that an argument against the GPL? In most other cases, even getting the code will violate several laws, and you have no right to use it in your product. Seems the GPL gives you more than most. If you just want a library, the choice is simple - make your stuff GPL or don't use the library (with some exceptions).

Re:More info on SOX (5, Informative)

zero1101 (444838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870302)

One of the biggest arguments against the GPL is that if you use it in your own code, you have to agree to its terms. In the case of the GPL, those terms mean that your code must be GPLed.

This is an extremely misleading statement, if not outright false. Your code must only be GPLed *if you redistribute it*. There are, unfortunately, plenty of cases where PHB's decide not to use GPL software because they don't understand this. And apparently neither do many Slashdot readers.

Re:More info on SOX (1)

robfoo (579920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869587)

In case you have no clue what "Sarbanes-Oxley" is..

Thank you! Would it have killed someone (submitter/editor) to add a paragraph, much like your first paragraph, to the end of the summary? It's not like the summary is overly long as it is.

Or even the first sentence from Wikipedia: "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 [..] is a United States federal law also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002"

I'm not new here, so I'm not going to ask that the editors, I don't know, EDIT stuff.. But seriously. Non-US, non-lawyer users shouldn't have to go to Wikipedia just to find out what the hell the SUMMARY is about.

Re:More info on SOX (1)

jamcmh (946845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869710)

Agree on all counts. Further, anyone (person, company, etc.) can be found guilty of breaking license violations. This isn't really a SOX thing.

So in reality, here's the problem, as I see it:

Companies spent over $6billion on consultants and auditors last year to get their companies up to SOX standards and pass audits.

Now, this guy comes along with a big bullhorn, and now, some manager/director/vp type is going to read this article on /. and hit the panic button. "Gee Thanks." That's all we need. Just throw those guys some more money. Which will undoubtedly come from some other budget, which will in turn result in someone's job being cut or someone's raise not being what it should be.

C'mon people. Think before you write this stuff!

Re:More info on SOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869736)

Wasabi acts as if there is some tremendous additional legal burden to using GPL software. However it seems that Sarbanes-Oxley would equally apply if you mis-represented your ownership of non-GPL software.

I think the big difference is that for many it's much easier to accidentally/ignorantly run afoul of the law when dealing with OSS in general. If some company decides to use some source code and they aren't familiar with the differences between say a BSD license and the GPL, then they could be in trouble. However, with commercial software, you are typically dealing with a vendor, and that fact alone makes the issue of licensing more explicit.

Re:Swatting a fly with a sledge hammer (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869839)


My understanding is that one of the reasons that Enron got as far as it did was because of the absence of laws that declared a conflict of interest if the same firm used for accounting/auditing, was also used for consulting. Doing the right thing would have meant giving up either of those roles, and all the money that went with it. Money talks, integrity walks.

If my understanding is accurate, I wonder why it wasn't fixed by simply closing this loophole. Seems like every time something goes wrong (and it went terribly wrong here), there's an additional excuse to increase "oversight" - and all the red tape, hassle, and extra cost that goes with it. I also seem to recall that someone sounded the alarm quite aways before Enron broke, but was ignored by Congress.

Re:Swatting a fly with a sledge hammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870163)

You're forgetting the most important part of the act: holding executives personally accountable for their company's malfeasance.

Re:More info on SOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870013)

Everything violates the SOX.
Breathing violates the SOX.
Turning on/off your PC violates the SOX.
The only question is whether or not your fully paid-up auditor will give agree that you're complient.
Full complience is not technically possible, so it becomes a commercial arrangement instead.

Re:More info on SOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870050)

I'd also like to add, that if a company chose to use *ALL* GPL'd software their legal burden would be less because they would not have to track and verify compliance for multiple EULAs from multiple companies. The Wasabi statements seem a bit dubious to me.

Intended Consequences of laws (3, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869466)

Some think that these situations are unintended consequences of laws that have "good" effects. Sarbanes-Oxley was intended, from the start, to be the ultimate way for governmentto control any corporation at will.

The law was initially meant to "fix" problems such as the Enron fiasco, but if you rewind just a few years, you see that most of these fiascos came directly out of trying to take advantage of loopholes in previous laws. The SEC colludes with the rest of the all powerful federal government to constantly keep non-preferred companies on their toes, while giving excessive power to the cronies. Sarbanes-Oxley will have the same effect.

The one light in Congress, Dr. Ron Paul, made an excellent note [lewrockwell.com] regarding Sarbanes-Oxley and the cost it will pass on to consumers. The Mises Institute also has a ton of great articles and blog posts [google.com] regarding the horrors of this law.

It is time to realize that government is NOT good at regulating business, except from the point of view of the cronies. Bills like this will rarely be used for their original intent, and the un?-intended consequence in the long run is to see criminals made of innocents that had nothing to do with the law's purpose.

Instead of voting, I think we need to start pitching money in a hat to buy rope for those who violate their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869533)

So if you really want to go after a company who is violating the GPL ... just put a call explaining how they are voilating Sarbanes-Oxley regulations. This could be a very complicated and expensive (for taxpayers and laywers) way of dealing with GPL violations in the US of A.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869539)

The real problem is that Accounting in the United States is nothing more than a game of rules lawyer... err accountants.  Cross your ts and dot your is, and your auditing firm can issue an unqualified statement.  Doesn't matter how obvious your corruption was - if your auditing firm follows the rules, and you know GAAP well enough, you can get away with anything.

In the United States, there should be stronger rules requiring accountants to follow up on exceptions and 'suspicious' activities.  At the current time, there is no incentive for accountants to do so - following up on these activities is a good way to piss off their clients with increased audit fees and time spent.  Better to cross those ts and dot those is, follow the rules of Sarbox but ignore the spirit.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (3, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869574)

I have absolutely zero dollars in publicly traded companies. I have no faith in the business of others -- in my own businesses I have so much "insider information" that I can't believe everyone else is a big enough sucker to trust these massive companies to tell the truth about everything.

That being said, I hate accountants. The average CPA is part of the problem in this country (CPAs as a group lobby Congress to make the tax code worse every year). Instead of requiring companies to do anything, how about telling people that they really shouldn't put their money anywhere but where they trust? I make between 20% and 50% on my various businesses, annually. Most stocks pay no dividend, so they actually make their owners no profit (except on sale, which is ridiculous as companies should pay profits).

The whole system is a mess, and its a mess because we keep requiring business to perform counter-productive to how a free market performs.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (4, Insightful)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869702)

Instead of requiring companies to do anything, how about telling people that they really shouldn't put their money anywhere but where they trust?

Our culture has accepted a lie about trust. We believe that it is the obligation of people to extend trust, and that it is a moral failing when they do not. In reality, the exact opposite is true. Nobody should be trusted until they have proved themselves trustworthy. If person A fails to trust person B, that is solely and completely person B's responsibility. It is not person A's fault. A has to earn B's trust.

This was clear to me during my dating days in an online singles community when I'd hear women who had just been jilted say, "How can I ever trust anyone again?" Well, the problem is that they were extending trust to people who had not yet earned it, and those people performed as could be expected. Then these women were viewing it as somehow their own moral obligation to trust people after that. In reality they were receiving an education that was pointing them to the obvious conclusion that it was not their responsibility to trust people who have not earned it.

Extending that to business is left as an exercise for the reader; I've had more success in dating than I have in business. ;)

Thats no better than what you complain about (5, Insightful)

Wizardry Dragon (952618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870259)

Is this an 'innocent until proven guilty' world or a 'guilty until proven innocent' world?

I tend to take a decidedly buddhist view when it comes to that, nothing to do with the religion (before I get a religious flamewar going here), but I believe in moderation. Completely distrusting everyone is no worse than complete trusting everyone. You have to strike a balance - the way our world works depends upon it. Buisness depend upon trusting that the average consumer is not a theif (someone should tell the RIAA that, before they strangle the music industry), relationships depend upon trusting that the person you are with will be true to you, in whatever way that means to you.

~ Wizardry Dragon

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

Monokeros (200892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869553)

Wouldn't it be more effective for everyone to pitch money into a hat to purchase a congressperson or three?

Sure, It'll cost more than a rope, but the benefits will be more lucrative.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869567)

Yes we should just let the corporations go wild. They would never do anything to harm anybody anyway.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (0)

Procyon101 (61366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869606)

Better a corporation than a government. Corportations don't have prisons, armies, police and ultimately answer to the higher power of law. The law running amok is MUCH more dangerous.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869696)


Do you believe that?

Business can not happen without the government. Its in any economics101 course and certain services can not be done by business. Mainly things in public consumption since its not profitable to help everyone.

The free market works best when the market is stable. The government tries to setup the market as free as possible and to stabilize it so it can grow.

Without SOX you would have problems of more problems of bad accounting reporting which would hurt the general market more.

The government is not always the bad guy here and many market purist forget withotu the government regulating currency, providing roads, educating yoru workforce, and making trade negotiations with foreign nations we wouldn't have a market for you to sell products to.

It seems all these mu8lti billion dollar right wing think tanks sponsored by big businesses have quite a few followers today. I just dont understand the American obsession agaisnt government but not at all agaisnt big business?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869827)

Wow, we are so far apart from each other in beliefs that it would be hard to further the debate.

I've read all the books you use to support your side, would you mind reading just one free tiny e-book that covers mine? http://www.mises.org/money.asp [mises.org] This is Rothbard's basic book regarding money and what government has done to destroy the economy.

I am against big business as well because I believe big business grows out of abusing government's laws. I also believe these laws were written with this abuse in mind.

Government destroyed our currency by getting off of a 100% reserve system in 1913. It has destroyed any reason to save (the best way to create a strong economy is through savings, not public credit), and it has destroyed the ability for us to compete in the world market with our regulations and business controls.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869933)

You might want to read some history. In history there have been many cases where business has been run without any govt interference. Maybe read up on the copper barrons in montana or read about the post civil war south.

That's just in America. There are lots of examples all over the world of what happens to a country when the corporations are allowed to run wild.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870024)

I've read about both. The post civil war South was destroyed by Lincoln's cronies. The Civil War (or what I call the War Between States) was created specifically by Lincoln to give his cronies government corporate welfare. It had nothing to do with slavery, and everything to do with the Republican platform of imperialism and corporate welfare.

The copper barons of Montana were not a corporation, they fully controlled the state, too. Henry H. Rogers was a philanthropist who gave money out of his fortunes to nearly 100 schools, and paid for the education of blacks and the poor. He was raised in a poor family, and initially earned his wealth through fair trade and competition. He did more good things than bad, and everything bad that he was alledged to have done was done through the force of government, not the cooperation of the free market.

Don't try to teach me your history, based on lies written by the winners. Try reading the real history of the times, and you'll see your facts are based on those very lies.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870036)

It has destroyed any reason to save (the best way to create a strong economy is through savings, not public credit)

All right, let me play devil's advocate here for a minute:

If government has destroyed any reason to save (and I tend to agree with this, mind you), then why do you save so much?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870183)

If government has destroyed any reason to save (and I tend to agree with this, mind you), then why do you save so much?

Ahh, good catch there! I'll amend my statement to read "government has destroyed any reason to save federally issued dollars." I save in gold, silver and land -- mostly appreciating assets versus the federally issued currency. :)

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870245)

Ah, okay; just checking. :)

BTW, adding some information about purchasing land to the information you're already providing about gold would be great. :)

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (2, Interesting)

rossifer (581396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870140)

would you mind reading just one free tiny e-book that covers mine? http://www.mises.org/money.asp [mises.org] This is Rothbard's basic book regarding money and what government has done to destroy the economy.

I went ahead and read it, and the author makes the same mistake that all advocates of the gold standard make: they fail to understand that currency and value are separate. Further, the author completely misunderstands the role of the central bank (The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank) in a paper money economy: which is to stabilize the relationship between currency and value. This deliberate stabilization is impossible in a gold standard economy (more precisely, there are too many players who can influence the quantity of currency in circulation in a gold standard economy to know who they are, let alone understand their motivations).

I admit, most people don't understand why certain pieces of paper are more valuable than others, but that lack of understanding does not mean that we should revert to the gold standard (which has an equally misunderstood relationship between currency and value). All the gold standard buys you is less control.

Government destroyed our currency by getting off of a 100% reserve system in 1913. It has destroyed any reason to save (the best way to create a strong economy is through savings, not public credit),

This statement presupposes that inflation alone is a disincentive to savings. Which is false.

The incentive to save is based on relative returns. If the available interest rate of savings accounts is above the inflation rate, there is an incentive to save. At the moment, this is not true. After taxes, bank interest rates on savings accounts, most CD's and most money markets are below the inflation rate. But this inversion of returns, and the problematic incentives that provides is a recent (over the last 20 years) event, not stretching back to 1913.

You'll have to come up with another theory. I agree that bank regulation is to blame, but to describe a new set of regulations that provide for banks to make a profit on savings and to offer a competitive interest rate is beyond my limited knowledge of economics and monetary theory.

Regards,
Ross

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870254)

which is to stabilize the relationship between currency and value. This deliberate stabilization is impossible in a gold standard economy (more precisely, there are too many players who can influence the quantity of currency in circulation in a gold standard economy to know who they are, let alone understand their motivations).

Rothbard doesn't really ask for a gold standard, per se, but a deregulated currency system -- which I support. In a gold standard, some players COULD horde all the gold, but this would cause prices to drop to cover this hording. This is a good thing, creating a supply and demand for money that can't be destroyed by government fiat or force. If someone wants to horde gold, they first have to acquire it. As they acquire and hold it, they're losing out in the short run generally as that gold is working for them.

All the gold standard buys you is less control.

Less control in what way? An ounce of gold today buys about the same thing that an ounce of gold did in 1800 and an ounce of gold in 0 AD. Gold tends to be stable, as currency should be, relative to consumer goods. Fiat paper currency always gets destroyed -- in every situation in history, fiat currency has bankrupted. The US dollar has only existed as fiat currency since 1913 (partial reserve banking creation), and was completely taken off of a reserve system in 1971 by Nixon. Our currency in 1800 compared to 1912 was nearly 1:1, from 1913 to now it is 20:1 -- $20 in 1913 is worth $1 today. In the past year the government has devalued our currency almost an additional 10% through excessive printing, how is this stable?

If the available interest rate of savings accounts is above the inflation rate, there is an incentive to save.

Yet the available interest rate is set by the same organization that prints the new paper currency! If interest rates were free market provided for, things might be different. Yet the same government that devalues our currency every week also sets the interest rate too long to instill a good savings rate.

I agree that bank regulation is to blame, but to describe a new set of regulations that provide for banks to make a profit on savings and to offer a competitive interest rate is beyond my limited knowledge of economics and monetary theory.

This is why I am a fan of private 100% reserve banking. Banks are meant to do two things: protect your real money (gold, silver, oxen, whatever), and offer you the chance to invest it safely in businesses they have researched and trust -- usually backed by assets. Today banks offer neither: your money devalues while they hold it, and they don't do a good job of investments (see the housing bubble and the stock market).

I have faith in Rothbard's words, and I live on a personal gold standard myself ( http://dadasays.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] ). My money is stable, and I don't fear stock market fluctuations, war, imperialism or a global loss of faith in the dollar. Is your future safe?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870168)

Well I respect other opinions.

The market was very unstable before 1913 with huge inflation when it grew and bad recessions when it didn't grow.

The government needs to run the currency to help slow inflation and also regulate interest rates to both slow and expand growth.

There are several theories in economics. One is supply side with minimal government intervention in which the economy will explode and take care of itself (the side your on), demand side economics which state the opposite that the government can create jobs and manipulate demand through regulations that effect the whole market (my side and FDR's), as well as the monitarist (Clinton) which tries to create a stable banking system with low interest rates so businesses can make easy loans to grow and people's savings are well secured.

The idea of the SOX law is to help investment in all businesses which benefit everyone in the long run.

Its interesting that you talk about savings. Most demand side economists hate savings as every dollar in your wallet is not being spent and that means it does not help inflate the economy to grow. However the average american savings is the worst since the great depression and it scares me that we are crediting everything now and paying back later. I think its going to bite us all in the ass. especially with the new bankruptacy laws going into effect.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869735)

You have been raised in a late 20th century world in which you simply take for granted that corporations have certain limitations, but the merest browsing of a history book will show that every one of the things you claim corporations don't have are, in fact, things that corporations did have prior to public outcry and government crackdowns.

Start with a google search for "company town" and then feel free to read backwards through European history and the international corporations that weilded far more military and police power than any nation-state of the time.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870113)

You offer some very valid advice -- if we were still living in 1910 or 1950 or maybe even 1970.

I think you MIGHT be able to win a debate that government was needed in some way back then, when communication was limited and people were not aware of the world around them. The Internet has replaced much of the need for government oversight, replaced instead with the ability for billions of consumers to oversee each other instantly and in an aggregated fashion.

I'm familiar with some company towns today, such as Bagdad, AZ which has a significantly higher standard of living than the rest of the state, and almost no poverty. That same corporation also owns Morenci, AZ at the other side of the state, with even higher income levels and incredibly low poverty rates. The education of the residents is excellent, I have visited both towns and I am amazed by the residents that live there.

Don't forget Irvine, CA, either, which is a company town to this day. Irvine is considered one of the safest towns in the country, with one of the best public schools as well. This is still a company town!

In my experience, I have visited about 15 company towns around the country, and all of them are amazing examples of corporate governance.

Add in the amazing instant communication abilities of the web, and I think we see fewer and fewer reasons to have federal governments -- I'd rather see us shut down the fed to a BARE minimum (merely to keep the States in line) and let the local communities decide how much taxation and regulation they need or desire, in line with their residents.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869892)

"Better a corporation than a government. Corportations don't have prisons, armies, police and ultimately answer to the higher power of law."

First of all that's an out and out lie. There are numerous mercenary corporations providing soldiers all over the world. There are also numerous corporations providing armed security in the states. So yes corporations do have armies, police and prisons.

Secondly if we let the govt abdicate their responsiblity then there would be no law to which corporations would be subject to.

Finally corporations that don't arm themselves do so because it's easier to buy the services of the govt to provide security for them. RIAA does not need police because they have bought the laws they need and the state is procividing jails and police free of charge for them.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869618)

Yes, let them go wild. It will teach the average "investor" that there is no such thing as a free lunch. You should NEVER put your money into a business that you don't have faith in or trust. If you make it government's job to make people "tell the truth" you'll get lies covered by legal loopholes.

The problem starts with the Fed (Greenspan, Bernanke and their inflationary cycle) that makes money worthless over time so we seek to invest it to at least break even. The problem is made worse by the same inflationary cycle that makes our salaries go up slower than the inflationary cost of living increases (which go up because of the money printing). It goes downhill from there -- the SEC makes investors believe they're protected, which in a free market is a fallacy. You are only protected through contracts, not through law forcing people to act a certain way. Beyond contracts you protect yourself by doing business with people with a history (see eBay's feedback system).

This is all a mess, made worse by people who have faith in others. I have no faith in others except those who have proven their trustworthiness to me. This is why I only invest in businesses I have direct contact with.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869739)

Well we are letting them go wild in deregulation and we are experiencing things like all the telecoms merging back together again. They never learn.

The people who oppose big government and any regulation are accountants with clipboards and calculators who make no business decisions. They only tell their corporations if they met expectations or didn't in the current quarter and penalize anyone who doesn't financially.

Its like swallowing yoru own tail as government intervention is taught as a good thing in any micro or macro economics 101 course in college. Supply side economics doesn't work in every situation and we are having problems now due to it. The debt is one and the other is R&D.

For example why dont we have a cure for AIDS or cancer? These big few drug companies who own a monopololy and patents for all the drugs dont have an incentive for research because of their monopoly status on this precious little pills. Funny how they use that same argument for not splitting them up. Its just more popular to sell impotence drugs and expensive common cold prescriptions than saving people.

This is where more government intervention is needed and if AT&T was not split up the internet would not be here today for the public. Think about that one?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869804)

Well we are letting them go wild in deregulation and we are experiencing things like all the telecoms merging back together again. They never learn.

The telecom industry has never been deregulated in any way -- it has only been re-regulated -- some regulations were ended, many more began. Don't believe for a minute that the industry is running in a free market, it is heavily regulated and subsidized.

Supply side economics doesn't work in every situation and we are having problems now due to it. The debt is one and the other is R&D.

BS. Debt has nothing to do with supply side economics -- public debt is a socialist trap created mostly out of fiat currency. Private debt gets worse once the inflationary cycle begins, creating easy money and low savings rates.

This is where more government intervention is needed and if AT&T was not split up the internet would not be here today for the public. Think about that one?

I ran a successful BBS for years. Before I even knew the Internet had existed, we BBS operators were already implemented a large scale network of BBSes using X.25 packet switching networks and other private communications systems. Splitting up the bells had nothing to do with the Internet, and the Internet has exploded specifically because of the lack of regulations covering it. The more it is regulated, the slower it will grow and adapt.

You're a big government supporter, I can accept that, and I even think you have a right to be one. I just want access to opt-out of all the programs. I'll be happy to not rely on medicare, social security, or any of the options government gives me. Send me a bill for my share of the roads and defense (not offense) and I'll happily pay them until I can find a way to replace them with private providers.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870018)

Send me a bill for my share of the roads and defense (not offense) and I'll happily pay them until I can find a way to replace them with private providers.

You should make that your sig.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869852)

You are only protected through contracts, not through law forcing people to act a certain way


Contracts are only worth the paper they're printed on because the law enforces consequences if they're broken. In the end, it still falls back on the law to enforce good behavior. The problem isn't that the laws to force the truth don't work- its that they aren't actively investigated or enforced until after a major collapse such as Enron. And that even after that, most of the people get away with it. What we need is better enforcement.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869969)

Contracts can be enforced in a private market without the force of law. If you sign a contract, you take out contract insurance through a private company. This company issues a "bond" against your signature, guaranteeing the other party that you'll follow through, and also offering you insurance against the other party running off. This happens all the time in the construction industry (I should know, I own a business that gets bonded on each project).

Beyond just getting contract insurance, we can also create new businesses that only work to issue feedback on an individual or a corporation, similar to eBay's feedback system. When you make a transaction with another party, you give them positive or negative feedback. Sure, someone can take their terrible negative feedback and start anew with another company, but would you trust a 30 year old with zero feedback? Neither would I.

The reality to me is that government does a poor job of protecting economies, markets and trade. In every situation I've seen and have experience with, government has done more damage to trade than any situation where they have helped.

People need to know that stock markets are not safe investments. They need to know that they're getting less information than the insiders. They need to understand that their investments are likely making more money for others, and that they should find better places to put their money.

In a free market, interest rates are free to go up and down. Banks that need money can offer better rates than those who have money. Also, in a free market with a fixed money supply (100% reserves) we'd see soft deflation, which is good for the economy -- it gives people reason to save, increasing the money supply to banks for loans to GOOD businesses, not junk ones.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870046)

If everything was dependent on contracts the civil courts would be so bogged down nothing would get done. If a corporation thug came to your house and killed your grandfather because he was costing too much to maintain then you would have to sue them in civil court. They in turn would drag the case out till you were broke and you would be shit out of luck.

Corporations would love nothing better to be completely free to poison the waters, kill people who are claiming insurance benefits etc, buy and sell slaves, put people into indentured servitude etc.

You may think I am being a bit dramatic but all this has happened in the past when corporations were allowed to run free. What makes you think it won't happen again?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870157)

What makes you think it won't happen again?

Primarily the web, honestly. In the past, I could accept some government oversight as the people had very little interaction with one another outside of their community. But now that we can share information about bad businesses instantly, I think there is less need for the use of force to govern businesses and individuals. Hell, the entire stock market can be taken apart and let shareholding be deregulated -- people can trade and exchange stocks and bonds through the web as well, in an organized chaos that lets everyone decide how they want their money best used.

In the long run, I think anyone who has faith in the current system is just being duped. As the country grows weaker day by day, and the dollar loses value in the global market, a great many people will wish they had listened. The stock market has barely grown 500% in the past 100 years once government's inflation has been taken into account. The banking industry is a wing of the fed, happily accepting new counterfeit dollars and using them to pad the pocketbooks of the bank owners. If you're happy to ignore this collusion and theft, that's fine with me, but I want a way to exit this system.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870059)

30 years ago we had a fed we had investors and we had corporate leadership that wasn't corrupt. People who told lies who had VP for C something before their name did time for lying.

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (2, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869690)

Instead of voting, I think we need to start pitching money in a hat to buy rope for those who violate their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Nonono - you got that all wrong. It's "we need to start pitching money in a hat to buy our own senators". Don't vote with a voting box - vote with your dollar! Isn't that the american way anyway?

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (0)

edwdig (47888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869814)

It is time to realize that government is NOT good at regulating business, except from the point of view of the cronies. Bills like this will rarely be used for their original intent, and the un?-intended consequence in the long run is to see criminals made of innocents that had nothing to do with the law's purpose.

Yes, of course, by removing the threat of punishment for screwing over other people, corrupt businessmen everywhere will suddenly see the error in their ways and change. Why didn't anyone think of this before?

The law was initially meant to "fix" problems such as the Enron fiasco, but if you rewind just a few years, you see that most of these fiascos came directly out of trying to take advantage of loopholes in previous laws.

The Enron fiasco was caused by people in power who thought they could get away with stealing. They did for a while, but eventually went too far and everything collapsed.

Society is complex. No matter what legal and economic systems you come up with, there will always be ways for people to take advantage of them.

Your approach is equivalent to Microsoft saying "Well, its impossible to make a modern computer system 100% secure and bug free, therefore, we are going to remove all security features from Windows. Users will be on their own to figure out how to keep their computer running."

Re:Intended Consequences of laws (0)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870019)

Maybe I'm missing something. But all SO says is that when a company
1) makes statements
2) in an official release
3) targeted to investors
4) signed off by high ranking officers

That those officers have good reason to believe those facts are in fact true. That's it that is all that SO requires. A company that finds determining facts too onerous of a burden can simply publicly admit that fact and they have no obligations under the law at all.

I just don't buy that's an unreasonable obligation. Fraud costs this country hundreds of billions a year. Mises says $100m for enforcement, heck if it costs 100 times that it would be a bargain. America used to not have a culture of corruption. We have one now and we have to fight it. We did so at the turn of the century we can do it again. And yes it means added costs for companies. But frankly SO requires nothing that any good business shouldn't be doing already.

The original article says ... (5, Insightful)

gregor_b_dramkin (137110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869480)

violators of GPL are violators of Sarbanes-Oxley.

solution: don't violate the GPL.

Re:The original article says ... (1)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869759)

Parent post - (Score: 5, Succinct)

MOD PARENT UP: Headline Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870292)

Sheesh. RTFA guys - the accusation isn't that the GPL itself violates SOX, but that if you violate the GPL, you're violating SOX, because you're making misrepresentations about what IP you own.

It's a dubious theory to begin with, and misreporting it doesn't help.

Coming soon to slashdot: (5, Funny)

endrue (927487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869499)

Does the GPL Violate Sarbanes-Oxley?
[E]ssentially counsels users of the free software license that they have no need to worry.

Coming soon:

Does peanut butter taste like fish?
No

Is water wet?
Yes

Short and informative - this is great stuff!

Re:Coming soon to slashdot: (3, Insightful)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869598)

Is water wet?

In the vast majority of possible temperatures it is gas or solid. So I'd say, on average, no; water is not wet.

Re:Coming soon to slashdot: (2, Insightful)

outZider (165286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869757)

and then it is no longer water.

Re:Coming soon to slashdot: (2, Interesting)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870164)

Really? Does it change from H2O when it changes phase? ;)

Re:Coming soon to slashdot: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870294)

In common English, we refer to solid molecular water as "ice" and gaseous molecular water as "water vapor."

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

Coming soon to Reggie Perrin's "Grot" shop... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869625)

Does peanut butter taste like fish?

Coming soon to Grot: Fish-flavored peanut butter.
 

Re:Coming soon to slashdot: (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869721)

Short and informative - this is great stuff!
Short and informative - this is great fluff!

I'm pretty sure that's what you ment? LOL ;)

Tastes Great! Less Filling! (1, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869510)

If you rely on public websites for your corporate legal advice, you deserve exactly what you pay for it.

Ultimately, there is only one kind of person who can tell you if it is legal or not. That person is called a Judge or, in rare instances for corporations, a Jury.

you know (2, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869756)

I really hate to think that the law is so fucking insane that your "regular," above average intelligence bloke can't figure it out for himself. If that truly is the case, which it most certainly seems to be, we seriously need to start all over again. Start with the Constitution, and go from there, and try a little fucking harder to prevent it all from being corrupted like it is now.

The Founders of this insane country have got to be spinning in their graves.

SOX is change management over financial systems (4, Interesting)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869531)

SOX requires strict change management controls over financial systems. When we went through our audit, the auditing company was mostly concerned with how changes were made to these systems, what management controls were in place to monitor these changes, and the processes that were in place to ensure their integrity. None of the OSS software used in these processes was given a second glance beyond the aforementioned items. As an example, our use of Nessus as one the our tools for network audits and our archive of Nessus scans was applauded.

Just my Experience.

Re:SOX is change management over financial systems (2, Insightful)

jamcmh (946845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869634)

I like what you said, but let's be clear... SOX says nothing about change management.

SOX can be boiled down to two things: #1) The opinion from the auditor of how effective your controls are (this includes everything from IT to Payroll, and everything in between), and #2) The opinion from the auditor expressing their evaluation of if or if not you are following the controls.

Now. Consider what you said:

"SOX requires strict change management..." -- While true, it is somewhat misleading. Your company has established a Change Management methodology as a control to cover the accountability of changes to the systems. You follow these Change Management guidelines as if it were a religion. That results in #1 - their opinion of your C/M after evaluting it, and #2 - their opinion of if you're following it religiously.

Re:SOX is change management over financial systems (2, Informative)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869701)

I like what you said, but let's be clear... SOX says nothing about change management.

Not directly. PCAOB Audit Standard #2, however, does. The PCAOB Audit Standard is the SEC approved audit standard to which US Public Companies filing under Sarbanes-Oxley are held.

Paragraph 50 of the standard requiter that Change Management over financial systems should be tested by the auditor.

Re:SOX is change management over financial systems (1)

jamcmh (946845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869772)

Fair enough. :-)

Re:SOX !? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870077)

dammit, SOX = sound exchange.

Since when is the GPL a EULA (4, Interesting)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869541)

What would use of software have to do with the GPL... The user does not have to accept the terms of the GPL to USE the software...

Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (1, Redundant)

Masa (74401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869552)

I don't understand neither the original article title nor the Slashdot article title. How can GPL (or using GPL'ed software) violate the SOX, if GPL'ed software is used as the license permits? Reading the article didn't give me any insight about this issue.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (3, Informative)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869612)

How can GPL (or using GPL'ed software) violate the SOX, if GPL'ed software is used as the license permits? Reading the article didn't give me any insight about this issue.

You can not get in trouble for using software you have a license to use. Period. If you follow the GPL, you have a license to use OSS. Break the GPL, and well, you don't have that license anymore. Ditto with normal software. If you violate an EULA, or steal software, you don't have a license anymore. Using software you don't have a license to is a SOx violation, regardless of whether the software is free or not.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869637)

According to SOX you need to give an account on who owns all your IP.

The counterlink given in this article is just as biased.

Here is the problem. You run linux and your software is an asset used to help run your company. Who owns it? Does Linus own the kernel? What about the distro owner? How about the 250 people who contributed to the kernel?

Wasabi is saying that you need to keep track of all the thousands of kernel and FOSS developers since they own the copyright on the code in your accounting reports. Since that is impossible you therefore break the SOX law and your business can be held liable.

The GPL is not an EULA but just a license for the code. The issue of proper credit and who owns what is what the fud is all about.

This will scare some of the suits from using linux but they would typically find a reason not to use it anyway.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (3, Insightful)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869807)

According to SOX you need to give an account on who owns all your IP.
OK.
Here is the problem. You run linux and your software is an asset used to help run your company. Who owns it?
I still don't see the problem. It's not my IP, so I don't have to account for it. Really, you'd have the same problem with code from Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors. Much of the code they sell is sub-licensed code owned by other companies. Heck, some of it is even BSD-licensed code.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869979)

And further, I think the GPP poster is trying to imply that no one "owns" linux which is not the case at all. I believe in order for the GPL to be in effect, the software must be copyrighted since that is the basis of the GPL. Therefore, there is a copyright holder who "owns" the software. I believe that it is probably the Free Software Foundation.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870035)

And you'd be [mostly] wrong. Although some of the linux contributors may have assigned the copyrights to their contributions to the FSF, Linus has not, and he retains copy rights on much of the kernel.

Re:Maybe I'm a bit thick but... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869820)

the way it works it hinges on that IF THEN statement if you can prove you have copyright/permission then you don't have this issue but if not then after the penguins get done with you you may have some "men in black" having a "disscusion" with you on the finer points of the Law TSCOG may have fun with LanHam and SOX and RICO and ...

GPL - Gets Perused Lightly (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869580)

What this means practically for the vast majority of companies complying with SOX is that the threat to their businesses posed by potential GPL license violations, both inadvertent and intentional, is so low as to be immaterial.

Does the GPL Violate Sarbanes-Oxley? - No

Groklaw quotes Moglen: FUD, plain and simple. (3, Interesting)

toby (759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869588)

Article here. [groklaw.net]

Quoting a response by the Software Freedom Law Center:

the latest Software Freedom Law Center white paper [softwarefreedom.org] maintains ... these issues were reviewed and it was found that there is in fact no special risk for developing GPL'd code under SOX. "Under most circumstances, the risk posed to a company by SOX is not affected by whether they use GPL'd or any other type of software. Arguments to the contrary are pure anti-GPL FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt]," the paper says.

Wasabi = BSD zealots (3, Interesting)

drwho (4190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869605)

I contacted Wasabi hoping to buy some tools from them for BSD development on embedded platforms. When I asked about a platform they didn't support, the proceeded to criticize that CPU and Linux saying they were underpowered and immature, basically, they want you to buy their favorite CPU. Sadly, this company is made from NetBSD developers, who I had previously thought were among the less rabid BSD zealots.

I stayed with Linux for embedded systems, and probably will forever, unless embedded BSD is freed from the grips of these people.

Re:Wasabi = BSD zealots (2, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869665)

Management runs the company not its BSD founders. Also they sell their own embedded systems and highly discourage using your own as it would cost htem money.

Management wants to kill linux as much as possible so you can run netbsd instead.

It seems they are desperate at this point and bashing linux was not a good way to make a customer. It seems they have incompentant salesmen and upper management probably had a role in training them.

Re:Wasabi = BSD zealots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869747)

The problem may be that YOU'RE a linux zealot. The GPL carries with it a lot of contraversial matters especially dealing with embedded devices. The cloudy definition of "derivitive works" only complicates matters further when you're dealing with everything at such a low level (which you have to with embedded devices). I have yet to see a successful embedded linux device that honored the GPL without having the whistle blown on them for their violations. The BSD license however grants freedom to develop as you wish freely without worrying about someone bringing litigation against you for "derivitive" works. So continue playing with your toy linux WRT54g and I'll rely on the opinions of the people who know more than you about the multitude of embedded platforms out there. YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT GOD DAMN BASTARD COCKSUCKER

Re:Wasabi = BSD zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870008)

The way it was told to me is that Wasabi borrowed money heavily and incurred mountains of debt. Unable to meet cash flow expectations, they were forced into another round of borrowing. They are carrying huge financial obligations to their creditors. One can only surmise that they are probably pretty desperate at this point, thus the grasping at straws.

Re:Wasabi = BSD zealots (1)

telemonster (605238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870282)

I am slightly familiar with their storage products. Perhaps the CPU you were asking about is new and really isn't mature?

You can use NetBSD on some embedded platforms if you wished.

Sarbanes-Oxley is a joke (4, Interesting)

rfolstad (310738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869617)

I speak from experience and people can and will use SOX as an excuse for anything and everything. The problem is auditors are now trying to understand technology and they just don't get it.

The basics of SOX is that your CEO must sign that the proper controls are in place to ensure that all changes made to production systems that affect the reporting of financial information are approved changes.

Companies can take this to mean that changes to your firewalls, mail servers and webserver need to be logged and monitored with scrutiny. And they will even send "auditors" in to take screenshots of /etc/shadow hahahahahahhaa.. It's hilarious.

Realistically it is impossible to be 100% SOX compliant and profitable. This bill will be gone within 5 years and other countries without silly laws like this will prosper in the meantime.

So yes. If there is a not an audit trail in place where someone approves of applying that patch to the linux kernel on all production machines then you are not SOX compliant. Just like if someone doesn't approve installing that critical service pack from microsoft. Without approval and test cases you will fail your SOX audit unless you pay the extortion^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H fee that anderson^H^H^H^H^H^H^H accenture is charging these days.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley is a joke (1)

Anonymous Struct (660658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869837)

I couldn't agree more. There's nothing about SOX that has any meaningful impact on security. We could easily be secure and not be SOX-compliant, and we could just as easily be insecure and be totally SOX-compliant. Trying to legislate information assurance from Capitol Hill is a complete joke, and the auditors are eating it up. I just hope this garbage gets repealed before it wraps the entire industry in thick, red government-issue tape.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley is a joke (2, Interesting)

srNeu (559432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870234)

SOX has become revenue stream for auditing firms. They took a very simple law (about 2 pages) that is as you stated "The basics of SOX is that your CEO must sign that the proper controls are in place to ensure that all changes made to production systems that affect the reporting of financial information are approved changes." and turned it into a complex cash cow.

My company's parent company has several internal corporate auditors on staff that are extremely computer illiterate. They basically take what the external auditors say to do make us produce documentation for it. However, the auditing firms have made the requirements overly complex and the corporate guys don't understand the technology to know what really makes sense or not.

Case in point, our corporate guy decided that only 2 of the 4 admins at our company need admin access in the mrp system. So he directed one of the dedicated mrp people to remove my access. Now I can no longer unlock user accounts, etc., so my ability to help the company has been reduced. No where in the SOX law does it say that you can only have 2 people with admin rights. So where does the corporate guy get that impression --- from the auditing firm. I have since got my rights back due to confronting him if he could point out exactly where in the SOX law it says that only 2 people can have admin rights. He couldn't, and only said that [unnamed auditing company] said that was the right way.

As long as the external auditing companies make up the rules on what is covered and what is not, we will continue feeding the auditing company's cash cow called SOX.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley is a joke (1)

Jacobine (889867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870257)

The paper trail is truly boggling. We're using the 'we need the paperwork for the auditors' excuse on a very regular basis now. It's a lot of user training there. We're not auditing every single thing, but having to use the programs that monitor our every move while still keeping authorities locked down is a pain. (I hate that actions that took me 30 seconds before now take me three times as long and five times the keystrokes.) Of course, my new job is sox compliance and security. Not only do I manage the sox paper trails, but I do all security changes myself. Can I say how glad I am that the next audit is months away and my new boss is the one who was in charge last time?

Scuttlemonkey does it again! (3, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869685)

Does Using GPL Software Violate Sarbanes-Oxley?

Does this actually have anything to do with the article? No

The Article says that violating the GPL may be a SOX violation, but no more so than any other EULA.

I've seen a lot of complaints about Zonk; SM is worse.

Who Effing Cares! WTF HAPPENED TO /.?! (0, Troll)

Compu486 (891190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869768)

Who Effing Cares! WTF HAPPENED TO /.?! This is real lame news to be the norm now! STOP IT!!!!!!!

Re: I have to agree.... (0, Troll)

inventgeek (838321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869792)

I have to agree.... this is really lame filler type news on this site. It seems that ole Slashdot has really gone down hill... even looking at the number and quality of comments on the different news lines is on the decline.... looks like digg is really kicking ass.

Wasabi Burns (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869770)

I knew the founders of Wasabi Systems, here in NYC. The original "brains" behind the startup, which planned a "Red Hat for NetBSD", got screwed by his lawyer partner in the late 1990s, and left. No surprise to hear their business model is lying about GPL (Linux) in press releases.

What the FUD? (2, Interesting)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869862)

AFAIK, SOx is all about increasing "transparency", mostly records retention and statement quality. OSS can only help these, not hurt, unless the corp is incurring liability by violating licences.

Sic em Red Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14869881)

They're obviously trying to denegrate the competition by telling lies about it. That's why Red Hat sued SCO. They should be forced to prove their allegations or shut up.

Obligatory Budweiser Quote (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870004)

Wasaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabi...

No Violation (2, Interesting)

stonetony (464331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870198)

The Government in notorious for telling you that you need to comply with regulations without telling you how to comply. This sounds great at first, but this also leaves you open for penalties later if they determine that the methods you chose were insufficient. There is nothing in Sarbanes-Oxley that restricts the use of any specific sort of software to comply.... as long as if/when they investigate you they determine that you are/were in compliance.

In-house developed Intellectual Property (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870225)

What happens if a company develops intellectual property and releases it as GPL? Are they still required to report it?

I gather from a quick reading that simply using GPL software doesn't imply any risk, since the company in question does not own the IP outright. But if they are the original developers ... what happens then?
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