If Cisco really wants to woo Linux developers, it might want to work on license compliance before worrying about code bounties and contests. The Free Software Foundation announced today that it's suing Cisco for violating the GPL, which is a sure-fire way to put off contributors.
According to the FSF's press release, the FSF has been trying to work with Cisco for five years without any satisfactory results.
"We began working with Cisco in 2003 to help them establish a process for complying with our software licenses, and the initial changes were very promising," explained Brett Smith, licensing compliance engineer at the FSF. "Unfortunately, they never put in the effort that was necessary to finish the process, and now five years later we have still not seen a plan for compliance. As a result, we believe that legal action is the best way to restore the rights we grant to all users of our software."
If Cisco wants to build bridges into the FOSS community, it would do well to start by complying with the licenses that bind the community.
It will be interesting to see where this goes. So far, no one has gotten to a ruling on the GPL in the U.S. My money says Cisco will finally start working with the FSF.