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The latest in spring FUD from Wasabi

Where you stand depends on where you sit.
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Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Where you stand depends on where you sit.

Remember this before you accept anything at face value. Check out the speaker. Are they secretly taking money from a Bell company, or a right-wing gazillionaire, or George Soros? And if they are speaking for themselves, what is their self-interest?

With this firmly in mind, let's look at the latest from Wasabi Systems. It's a study claiming the GPL is dangerous, that using it might put you in violation of the dreaded Sarbanes-Oxley Act (known as SOX), which could mean huge company-ruining fines, humiliation and bankruptcy.

Well, OK. But what is Wasabi's self-interest? Well, Wasabi makes embedded BSD Linux systems. If corporations are afraid of the GPL, BSD firms like Wasabi benefit.

We should also apply the same test to this from the Software Freedom Law Center. It calls the Wasabi study bunk. There is no SOX liability from the GPL.  Of course, remember the SFLC is devoted to protecting the GPL. It's sort of the GPL's lawyer.

While I am not a lawyer, I suspect they are right on this one. The SOX law was written to create a paper trail in case management decided to cheat shareholders. It was not written with software acquisition in mind. While it could be interpreted in that way, and lawyers often offer wild interpretations of the law, courts seldom go in for such legal yoga.

Besides, most of what they sell as wasabi at American sushi restaurants is just regular horseradish dyed green. Real wasabi is milder, rarer, and far more expensive. If a real court makes this interpretation real, then you can worry.

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