Hellwig v. VMware Hits A Rock

“A decision in the GPL enforcement case in Germany between Christoph Hellwig (supported by the Software Freedom Conservancy) and VMware recently became public. The court dismissed the case after concluding that Hellwig failed to identify in the VMware product the specific lines of code for which he owned copyright. The GPL interpretation question was not addressed. Hellwig has indicated that he will appeal the court’s decision.”
 
See GPL enforcement action in Hellwig v. VMware dismissed, with an appeal expected
 
“But even if the changelogs were to name the Plaintiff as the most recent adapter, the Defendant has correctly argued that changelogs are not copies of the computer program concerned, so that no presumption of authorship pursuant to Copyright Act § 10 can result from them. Nonetheless, any indicative value that might still be assumed would have to be substantiated by the Plaintiff and pleaded in relation to each respective function. The Plaintiff has not done this.”
 
See Unofficial English Translation Of The Court’s Decision
The court in Hellwig v VMware has dismissed the case due to lack of specificity in pleading by the plaintiff. This, despite including the entire source code of Linux and the changelogs from the git repository. The court considers that inadequate. An appeal will require a lot more detailed work by Hellwig and/or convincing a higher court that changelogs are sufficient. The court considered them indirect. They wanted line by line evidence, not pointers to the lines. You’d think there would be a script for that…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Hellwig v. VMware Hits A Rock

  1. dougman says:

    “M$ would never get the whole FLOSS community and all the members of kernel.org to fall in line”

    M$ wouldn’t even care, if anyone got behind them, they would take, use and embrace.

    “there would be no upside for M$ to try to steal something like Linux when it’s available for $0.”

    NO upside? LOL…clearly you cannot fathom M$ taking and using Linux for themselves. What is there to steal, Linux is free for anyone to use. How could anyone argue M$ “stole” Linux?

  2. dougman wrote, “M$ could use Linux, pay off Linus or worse yet, give him the finger and argue the merits of it for 20-years in court.”

    That might be possible with a smaller organization but M$ would never get the whole FLOSS community and all the members of kernel.org to fall in line. The world is bigger than M$ and there would be no upside for M$ to try to steal something like Linux when it’s available for $0.

  3. dougman says:

    Ok, so you advocate M$ using Linux, but what about the GPL?

    M$ could use Linux, pay off Linus or worse yet, give him the finger and argue the merits of it for 20-years in court.

  4. Further, imagine how different the world of IT would be if M$ had adopted GNU/Linux circa 1995 instead of shipping crapware for two decades. Imagine a world in which they quit trying to mess with competition. I’d be loving M$ instead of hating them.

  5. dougman wrote, “I can see one day M$ using “the entire source code of Linux””.

    Good. Linux was made to be used.

  6. dougman says:

    I can see one day M$ using “the entire source code of Linux” and giving everyone the finger.

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