Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Alleged GPL violation spurs accusations, lawsuit

Filed under

Alexander Maryanovsky, the developer of Jin, a Java-based chess client, has filed a lawsuit in Israel that alleges multiple violations of the GNU General Public License (GPL). In the suit, Maryanovsky alleges that International Chess University (IChessU), a startup offering online chess tutoring, and Alexander Rabinovitch, its CEO, violated both his copyright and the GPL in its production and distribution of the IChessU client, a piece of software based on Jin. Both sides agree on the general outline of events, but differ in their interpretation of the GPL and its applicability.

Originally from Russia, Maryanovsky is a computer science student at Tel Aviv University. Besides Jin, his main contributions to free software are Java programs such as Chessboard and automate. He has also made small contributions to Jedit.

Maryanovsky is especially proud of Jin. After a disastrous first version, he says, "I decided to rewrite it from scratch, and made a promise to myself that I will not write ugly code in it -- Jin would be perfect. It's a big reason why IChessU have been able to build on Jin so easily. Jin is very flexible, modular, and elegant."

The defendant, Alexander Rabinovitch, is a former professional chess player. He was World Champion for high schools in 1996, and is ranked as an International Master, one step below Grand Master. Although he holds a degree in software engineering and management, and has worked in the IT industry for three years, his experience with the GPL stems mainly from IChessU's involvement with Jin. He describes IChessU as "a community of people, brought together by the joy of the game, taking it one step beyond," and as "an educational organization."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

today's howtos

Intel Cache Allocation Technology / RDT Still Baking For Linux

Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration. Read more Also: Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Haven't Gotten Faster In Recent Years

Distributing encryption software may break the law

Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law. Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications. Read more