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04 December 2009, 17:10

SFLC says GPL issues should not block Oracle's acquisition of Sun

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Respected Free Software lawyer, Eben Moglen and the SFLC (Software Freedom Law Centre ) have sent a letter to the European Commission saying that it believes that the Commission has "underestimated the robustness the GPL has consistently demonstrated". The letter is a response to the concerns expressed in the Commission's Statement of Objections that the GNU Public Licence was insufficient protection against competition issues raised by the acquisition. The letter was sent, pro bono, at the request of Oracle's counsel and is to be incorporated into Oracle's response at the hearing of objections, scheduled to take place on December 10th.

Moglen says "The GPL was designed specifically to ensure the permanent freedom of software, and the ability of everyone to improve and share their improvements to the program, no matter who acquires the copyrights to the code". He points out that "GPL’d programs competing effectively against offerings of the richest and most powerful monopoly in the history of information technology have resisted the efforts of the monopolist to find a chink in its armour". The full opinion is available for referencePDF.

In other Oracle/Sun news, a report in the New York Post, that Oracle were planning to "quarantine" MySQL within the Oracle organisation to quell the Commission's concerns, was described as "completely untrue" by an Oracle spokesperson.

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