[ANSOL-geral] Christoph Hellwig Continues VMware GPL Enforcement Suit in Germany

André Isidoro Fernandes Esteves aife netvisao.pt
Quinta-Feira, 29 de Outubro de 2015 - 01:06:45 WET


Software Freedom Conservancy is pleased to provide updated information 
regarding the ongoing GPL enforcement lawsuit for Linux, funded by 
Conservancy, that Christoph Hellwig has brought against VMware in 
Germany. Information about the suit is available on the FAQ page.

The lawsuit continues to progress. VMware has filed a statement of 
defense, in which they assert arguments for the dismissal of the action. 
Christoph, with the assistance of his lawyer Till Jaeger, has filed his 
response to these arguments. Unfortunately, VMware has explicitly asked 
for the filings not to be published and, accordingly, Conservancy has 
not been able to review either document. With the guidance of counsel, 
Christoph was able to provide Conservancy with a high-level summary of 
the filings from which we are able to provide this update. VMware's 
statement of defense primarily focuses on two issues. First, VMware 
questions Christoph's copyright interest in the Linux kernel and his 
right to bring this action. Second, VMware claims vmklinux is an 
“interoperability module” which communicates through a stable interface 
called VMK API.

Christoph's response discusses his extensive contributions to the Linux 
kernel and disputes the technical merits of VMware's assertions. The 
response points out that vmklinux is not an interoperability module, but 
rather an arbitrary separation of the Linux derived module from 
vmkernel. Specifically, vmklinux is nonfunctional with any non-ESX OS, 
and vmklinux is tied intimately to a specific version of ESXi. Vmklinux 
does not allow reuse of unmodified Linux drivers in binary or source 
form. Christoph further points out that if the Court allows 
proprietarization of an arbitrary split portion of GPL'd computer 
programs, it could allow redistributors to trivially bypass the strong 
copyleft terms found in the GPL. Finally, the response explains that 
vmkernel and vmklinux don't “communicate over an interface”, rather they 
run in the same process as a single computer program. Thus, VMK API, as 
used by vmklinux, is not an “interface” as set forth in the EU Directive 

To assist the public to easily verify these conclusions, Conservancy 
today makes available a git repository containing the publicly available 
VMware code. This Git repository contains an easier-to-browse version of 
VMware's incomplete source code releases. (Conservancy's FAQ about the 
lawsuit includes details on how to download this same software directly 
from VMware's site.)

The case continues, and remains an extremely important matter of 
principle for software freedom. The court hearing has been set for the 
first quarter of 2016. Conservancy will continue to release information 
as we receive it. Please support this work and stand up for the GPL by 
becoming a Conservancy Supporter today.

Mais informações acerca da lista Ansol-geral