[Fsf-friends] [FSFE PR][EN] "Free Software Foundation defends the GNU GPL against SCO attacks" (fwd)

Frederick Noronha (FN) fred@bytesforall.org
Thu Feb 19 03:00:40 IST 2004

---------- Forwarded message ----------

                                           Milano, February 18th, 2003

                                             - for immediate release -

"Free Software Foundation defends the GNU GPL against SCO attacks"

 The organization that defends Free Software in Europe, Free Software
 Foundation Europe, has no doubt that the litigation between SCO
 against IBM and Novell cannot affect the users of the operating
 system GNU/Linux.

 Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University, pro-bono general
 counsel of FSF North America, has published a paper that will help
 free software developers and end-users understand the legal issues
 and business risks involved in using the Linux kernel.  The paper is
 avaible on the OSDL web site.


 "After selling licenses for rights in the original Unix code, the SCO
 Group is now suing Novell to please hand over those rights to SCO."
 Stefano Maffulli, Italian chancellor of FSF Europe explains. "The
 lawsuit shows SCO Group's uncertainty about their claims on the code
 in question. One could ask on what grounds they think they were
 suing others. In any case, their licensing campaign is obviously
 over," he continues.

 The license of the Linux kernel, the GNU General Public Licens,
 grants the recipients of the software the right to use, copy, modify
 and redistribute the software under the same terms.  Many users got
 the Linux software from the SCO Group, even after they sued IBM in
 august 2003.

 "As both the SCO Group and Novell, through its recent acquisition
 SuSE, have been distributing copies of the GNU/Linux system --
 including the Linux kernel -- under the GNU GPL, it means that
 regardless of the outcome of that process, no party will ever be able
 to ask for licensing fees." says Werner Koch, Head of Office of FSF

 "The whole issue has been very much overplayed and overrated by
 analysts who assumed that if there is smoke, there is fire. But in
 the modern business world, you will often discover nothing but a
 smoke machine," concludes Georg Greve, president of the FSF
 Europe. "In the end, this case is a typical example of a company
 trying to undo time and undoing itself in the process. Understanding,
 accepting and working with the freedoms of Free Software is becoming
 a key factor of success for modern companies in information

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

 The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable
 non-governmental organization dedicated to all aspects of Free
 Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
 in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and
 redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition
 - allow equal participation in the information age. Creating
 awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and
 legally, and giving people freedom by supporting development of Free
 Software are central issues of the FSF Europe, which was founded in
 2001 as the European sister organization of the Free Software
 Foundation in the United States.



        Georg C. F. Greve   <greve@fsfeurope.org>
        phone: +49-40-23809080
        fax:   +49-40-23809081

        Stefano Maffulli    <maffulli@fsfeurope.org>
	phone: +39-02-34537127
	fax:   +39-02-34531282

        Werner Koch         <koch@fsfeurope.org>
        phone: +49-2104-173855

   Further contact information available at 
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