Q
Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Is the GPL incompatible with U.S. copyright law?

My company's IT team has been working with and within the rules regarding the GPL for years. In recent news, I read that SCO is saying that GPL is not compatible with U.S. copyright law. Could that possibly be true?
Presumably this is part of their effort to create fear, uncertainty and doubt. I wonder about such claims when SCO has, until 2003, participated in distributing open source products under a version of the GPL. In addition, it should be remembered that copyright protects the expression of ideas in the name of the creators of those expressions. If creators voluntarily distribute their expressions using a distribution model that differs from the restrictive and proprietary world of copyright, it strikes me that neither the Copyright Act nor SCO can prevent it. This applies with equal force, in my view, to those who registered their work with the federal government and subsequently decided to distribute their work more freely. Without more explanation from SCO about what it really means, on its face this assertion appears without merit.

Dig Deeper on Linux servers

Usenix president: Linux needs better paper trail Linus Torvalds and the Linux community didn't learn from history and are suffering the consequences as it repeats itself, said Marshall Kirk McKusick, president of the Usenix Association, a Berkeley, Calif.-based advanced computing user group. In this interview, he describes the lessons he and his fellow BSD developers from AT&T's intellectual property lawsuit against BSD (Berkeley Software Design), lessons that weren't heeded by Linux developers. He also opined on SCO's "battle by press release," as well as why SCO will fail and the General Public License (GPL) will stand up in court. In part two, McKusick explains the dangers of using the GPL, how Usenix members are protecting themselves and their companies from IP suits and why banning open source could damage the IT industry. Recently, McKusick, an IT consultant and expert witness on IT copyright issues, spoke out against SCO's "hypocritical" attacks on Linux on behalf of Usenix.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchWindowsServer

SearchServerVirtualization

SearchCloudComputing

Close