SarbOx and the GPL: Ordinary Risk Is Bad Enough

BSD-based vendor Wasabi's vice president responds to an FSF reaction regarding the potential problems of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. (

This guest column by Wasabi Vice President and General Counsel Jay Michaelson responds to a reaction from Free Software Foundation General Counsel Eben Moglen to a Wasabi whitepaper that discussed potential interactions between Sarbanes-Oxley Act legislation and the GNU General Public License.

Wasabi is best-known for BSD-based embedded operating system stacks licensed under the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license, a less restrictive alternative to the GNU GPL (General Public License) used by Linux.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about the issue of whether the GPL violates Sarbanes-Oxley Act legislation.

Unlike the GPL, the BSD license does not require modifications and enhancements to be contributed back to the community at large, a "feature" that has made the license popular in some commercial applications, while arguably limiting BSD-licensed softwares technical progress and adoption rates in comparison to Linux.

A "talkback" discussion thread linked at the end of Michaelsons column offers LinuxDevices readers a chance to voice their own opinions about GPL-SarbOx interactions, and about GPL versus BSD license issues in general.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead the full story on SOX and the GPL: no "special" risk, but ordinary one bad enough

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