Red Hat uses GPL to strike back in patent lawsuit
Linux distributor Red Hat, which is currently being sued for patent infringement by Twin Peaks Software, is fighting back at the company by alleging Twin Peaks is violating the GNU General Public License (GPL) for a tool that Red Hat holds copyrights on. The lawsuit brought by Twin Peaks alleges that Red Hat infringed US patent 7,418,439 in GlusterFS which the company had acquired last year.
As reported by Groklaw, Red Hat has now filed a counterclaim alleging that Twin Peaks has distributed GPL licensed code in its TPS Replication Plus and TPS MyMirror products without making the corresponding source code publicly available. The products include a utility called mount.mfs, which according to Red Hat, is reusing parts of the GPLv2-licensed util-linux package for which Red Hat owns copyrights.
Red Hat is asking the court for damages for copyright infringement and wants to halt distribution of the mount.mfs tool and all products that use it. Under GPLv2, an infringing party loses all distribution rights and is only allowed to distribute the software again if the copyright holder explicitly reinstates their rights.