Thu, 13 Sep 2007

Linux Plagarism

For years GPL advocates has been spreading the idea that a second party can relicense a copyrighted work. Because of this, it is a common belief in many Linux communities, that it is permissible to "file off" certain unrestricted licenses and replace them with the GPL.

Recently a few Linux developers, on advice from the FSF's lawyer, did just that with the Atheros driver in OpenBSD. This is in violation of copyright law, and nothing short of bald faced plagarism.

A quote from Theo de Raadt:

In their zeal to get the code under their own license, some of these Linux wireless developers have broken copryright law repeatedly. But to even get to the point where they broke copyright law, they had to bypass a whole series of ethical considerations too.

I'm not bringing up this story to tweak the noses of GPL developers, but rather to urge the community of Free Software developers to behave morally and ethically when dealing with other people's code.