Linux kernel developer sues VMware over gpl violation

Christoph Hellwig, one of the developers working on the Linux kernel, is suing VMware for breaching the gpl license terms. According to Hellwig, VMware has broken the rules by not disclosing the source code of its software.

The gplv2 requires that programs based on open source software also have their source code made public, but according to Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig, VMware does not comply. Together with the Software Freedom Conservancy, he therefore decided to sue VMware in Germany.

By failing to comply with the gplv2 license terms, VMware is infringing the copyrights of Hellwig, which owns the rights to part of the Linux kernel. That is what the SFC claims. The complaint concerns VMware’s ESXi virtualization software. Both VMware’s implementation of BusyBox and the kernel of the ESXi software would contain open source source code, without VMware making the source code public.

According to the SFC, VMware has been infringing the GPL since 2007. In recent years, following complaints from the SFC, VMware is said to have improved its behavior somewhat, but still not enough to comply with the licensing terms of the gplv2 license.