Help needed dealing with ex-employer violating GPL
andre at ba-z.co.jp
Thu May 26 02:19:11 CEST 2005
chip at innovates.com wrote:
> In the past I worked for Techguard Security, LLC.
> (http://www.techguardsecurity.com), in Chesterfield, Missouri. While
> working for them I prototyped a netfilter firewall on Linux. It was a
> collection of bash scripts calling iptables repeatedly to configure a
> firewall. At the time I told them I suspected the work I was doing was
> subject to the GPL. They denied that was the case.
> Now they are selling products based on the netfilter project I started.
> They make no mention of netfilter, Linux or the GPL and claim it as
> their proprietary development. They are selling this firewall to medium
> to large corporations and the U.S. government.
I am not really sure, but I belive your scripts need not be released
under the GPL, maybe unless they are distributed as part of netfilter,
for instance. Now, if this company is distributing GPL based software
they do need to comply. Do they distribute "linux", "netfilter", or
others? (this is where you have to start)
> Since working for them I have written from scratch my own netfilter
> based firewall scripts. This has prompted Techguard without any
> evidence to file suit with the FBI claiming I have stolen their
> intellectual property.
File a suit with the FBI? Ok...
I am supposing they are claiming you violate their copyright. If you
wrote your scripts from scratch, they have no saying about it. Copyright
does not cover ideas.
> If I am interpreting the actions against Fortinet and Edimax correctly,
> all netfilter based firewalls are subjected to the GPL. That means
> Techguard not only doesn't own the netfilter scripts I wrote, they are
> illegally claiming them as their own.
They *do* own (the copyright over) it. GPL does not transfer copyrights.
> I would like to get this resolve ASAP because I feel that I am violating
> the GPL by not releasing the source code to the firewall I have since
> scripted, but I'm afraid of stirring a more volatile pot.
You only have to release the source code if you are distributing the
program. Since you are not distributing anything, you are safe.
By the way, if you are talking about "scripts" the "source code" shall
not be a problem at all. The problem would be the license it is released
More information about the legal