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.

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.

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."

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Recommended

Golang XML parser vulnerability could enable SAML authentication bypass
vulnerability

Golang XML parser vulnerability could enable SAML authentication bypass

15 Dec 2020
How to automate your infrastructure with Ansible
automation

How to automate your infrastructure with Ansible

2 Dec 2020
Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies highly virtualized environments
virtualisation

Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies highly virtualized environments

16 Nov 2020
The IT Pro Podcast: What COVID-19 can teach us about open data
Data & insights

The IT Pro Podcast: What COVID-19 can teach us about open data

30 Oct 2020

Most Popular

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?
web hosting

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?

12 Jan 2021
150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database
data management

150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database

15 Jan 2021
Can Pat Gelsinger get Intel back on track?
chief executive officer (CEO)

Can Pat Gelsinger get Intel back on track?

13 Jan 2021