VMware lands itself in court over open source code

Software Freedom Conservancy backing case

One of the creators of the Linux kernel has filed a suit against VMWare accusing it of failing to live up to its copyright commitments when it comes to open-source programming.

Christoph Hellwig, who owns the copyright to certain parts of the Linux kernel, accuses VMware of combining proprietary source code with open-source code in its ESXi product line without releasing it publicly thus breaking the General Public License version 2 (GPLv2).

It's claimed the company wrapped its VMkernel, which is a part of its ESXi virtualisation software for servers, with open-source code and in addition to that it is being accused of not complying with the same rules in relation to the BusyBox bundle of software. VMkernel is a POSIX-like OS formulated by VMware to act as a liaison between virtual machines and the physical hardware that supports them.

Case is without merit, says VMware

The case, which has been filed against VMware in the district court of Hamburg, has been funded by the Software Freedom Conservancy and a long blog post from the foundation explained that it first found VMware was flouting the rules back in 2011 and has been investigating since then.

For its part VMware claims that the lawsuit is without merit and added that they "will prevail on all issues through the judicial process in Germany" and that in mind it's expected that this case will roll along for some time yet.

Via: PC World

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