FSF and FSMLabs come to agreement on a GPL-compliant version of RTLinux Open Patent License

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Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <pr@gnu.org>
Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Update - Friday, October 12, 2001 - The Free Software Foundation and Finite State Machine Labs Inc. (FSMLabs) have announced the release of the Open RTLinux patent license Version 2 fully compliant with the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (GPL). The Open Patent License grants the right to use U.S. Patent No. 5,995,745 in GPL free software without payment of a royalty. This license protects GPL use of the RTLinux process.

FSMLabs and FSF expect the release of this license to accelerate the rate of the free software revolution in the fields of embedded and realtime computing. These areas have been isolated from the mainstream of progress in software development by proprietary software based on secrets and incompatibilities designed to lock customers into proprietary technology. The availability of superior free software has already lead to many innovative projects from large corporations thousands of individuals and small companies all over the world. FSF thanks FSMLabs for its continuing contributions to the free software community.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - The Free Software Foundation and Finite State Machine Labs (FSMLabs) have come to an agreement on a fully GPL-compliant version of FSMLabs RTLinux Open Patent License. FSF and FSMLabs are working to finalize the license language; FSMLabs will be publishing on its website the text of that license, with a statement by FSF confirming its GPL-compliant status, in the very near future.

The FSF has already withdrawn its press statement (issued Friday, 14 September 2001) concerning RTLinux license terms. Our differences turned out to be mostly a result of unfortunate miscommunications and we urge everyone to put this dispute behind them. FSF and FSMLabs expect to continue their cooperation to secure availability of FSMLabs patented technology for use in GNU/Linux systems.

The FSF thanks FSMLabs for its contribution of this patent license to the free software community, and for its longstanding support and publication of free software under the GPL.

About GNU/Linux:

GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating system with the kernel, Linux.

Calling the GNU/Linux system just "Linux" leads to confusion. Making consistent distinctions between GNU/Linux, the operating system, and Linux, the kernel, clears up the confusion.

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and free documentation for free software. Their web site is located at http://www.gnu.org/. They are head quartered in Boston, MA.