Open-Source Backlash

The open-source community is rallying against comments made by The SCO Group CEO Darl McBride late last month that the GPL, under which Linux and open-source software is distributed, violates the U.S. Constitution as well as copyright and patent laws. McBride created a furor last month when he wrote: "We believe that adoption and use of the GPL [GNU General Public License] by ... the software industry was a mistake. The positions of the Free Software Foundation and Red Hat [Inc.] against proprietary software are ill-founded and are contrary to our system of copyright and patent laws."

Rolland Roseland, a systems developer for information services at The Schwan Food Company Inc., in Marshall, Minn., said McBride's characterization of GPL use as illegal is a mistake. "McBride is wrong to state that those who support and participate in the GPL and open-source software creation and distribution are against copyright practice and copyright law," Roseland said. "Owners of IP [intellectual property] have the right to copyright their IP or to provide it free to society. It is their choice, and we should be supporting that choice."

News source: eWeek

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