Developer sues VMware alleging it broke open source copyright terms

Virtualisation specialist denies that it failed to publish adjusted Linux code included in product

Gavel

VMware is being sued by a developed that has alleged the virtualisation specialist violated the copyright terms for open source software after basing a product on Linux code.

The lawsuit was filed in Germany by code contributor Christoph Hellwig, who claims VMware took Linux as the foundation for its ESXi bare-metal hypervisor.

Advertisement - Article continues below

After mixing the available open source code with its own proprietary code, vmkernel', VMware failed to publish its adjustments publically, Hellwig contends.

Hellwig owns some copyright on the Linux code, and his case is being funded by the open source project charity Software Freedom Conservancy.

The charity said it has been negotiating for years with VMware to try and resolve the issues, but claimed it had no choice but to support the lawsuit.

"This is the regretful but necessary next step in both Hellwig and [the] Conservancy's ongoing effort to convince VMware to comply properly with the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2)," the organisation said in a statement.

GPLv2 is the license of open source software such as Linux, and the Conservancy claims other free software covered by the license is included in VMware's ESXi products.

They include BusyBox, a Unix toolset for Linux and Android, which VMware has not provided any source code for the version in ESXi, the body added.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

VMware, however, has denied all accusations.

The firm said in a statement: "We believe the lawsuit is without merit. VMware embraces, participates in, and is committed to the open-source community. We believe we will prevail on all issues through the judicial process in Germany."

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/software/linux/355168/wireguard-vpn-bundled-into-latest-linux-release
Linux

WireGuard VPN bundled into latest Linux release

31 Mar 2020
Visit/software/28109/what-is-open-source
Software

What is open source?

30 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/28025/best-linux-distros-2019-the-finest-open-source-operating-systems-around
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2019

24 Dec 2019
Visit/open-source/34540/view-from-the-airport-linux-open-networking-summit-2019
open source

View from the airport: Linux Open Networking Summit 2019

1 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Visit/development/application-programming-interface-api/355192/apple-buys-dark-sky-weather-app-and-leaves
application programming interface (API)

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and leaves Android users in the cold

1 Apr 2020
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/355170/oracle-cloud-courses-are-free-during-coronavirus-lockdown
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020