FSF withdraws GPL complaint against FSMLabs

By Douglas F. Gray, IDG News Service |  Development

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has withdrawn a statement issued Friday, in which it claimed a New Mexico-based company violated the GNU General Public License (GPL), by using a patent license to restrict distribution of its version of the GNU/Linux operating system.

The FSF withdrew the statement against Finite State Machine Labs Inc. (FSMLabs), saying that most of the disagreement was a result of miscommunication. "At the moment we're working out the final license wording," said Richard Stallman, president of the FSF and author of the GPL. "We've agreed on the substantive issues."

The FSF claimed in a statement Friday that the company used the patent license to "impose restricted terms on distribution of a GPL-covered program." FSMLabs' version of the operating system is called RTLinux.

The FSF was reacting to an unpublished preliminary draft of the license, and has requested only minor changes in the current version, FSMLabs said in a statement.

Certain requirements in the draft license still conflict with the GPL, but FSMLabs has agreed to change them, Stallman said. "We don't have the actual license words yet, but we discussed the specific issue that arose in their old license," he said. "They've agreed to change those, so the new license should be consistent with using the code under the GPL."

FSMLabs will publish the text of the new license, with a statement from the FSF confirming its status under the GPL, in the near future, the FSF said in a statement.

The Free Software Foundation, in Boston, can be reached at +1-617-542-5942, or on the Web at http://www.fsf.org/. FSMLabs, in Socorro, New Mexico, can be reached at +1-505-838-9109, or on the Web at http://www.fsmlabs.com/.

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