monopolies that restrict computer users. (See
www.programming-freedom.org and www.noepatents.org). We oppose this
policy, and we think it is a shame that Victor Yodaiken has chosen to
obtain a patent for an idea that we believe should not be, and is not,
patentable. The patent covers real-time interrupt handling using a
software emulation layer for interrupt masking, so that interrupts can
be prioritized. There is significant prior art for this." Editor's note: Victor Yodaiken told NewsForge he will respond next week.
But, even worse, Yodaiken has attempted to use the patent to impose restrictive terms on a GPL-covered program (Linux, the kernel used in the GNU/Linux operating system). These terms conflict with the GNU GPL, and imposing them is a violation of the GPL. We have told Yodaiken this, and we have told him what license terms would comply with GPL. He, like everyone, has the reponsibility to comply with the GPL or cease his infringing distribution. Anyone else redistributing a modified version of Linux under the restrictive patent license that Yodaiken offers will also be violating the GPL. It is up to the copyright holders of Linux to enforce the GNU GPL for their code. The FSF is not one of them; we have never been involved in developing Linux, the kernel. The FSF holds the copyright for a number of other major components of the GNU/Linux operating system, but those programs are not involved in this issue. So the FSF is not a party to this issue in a legal sense. However, we have told Yodaiken that if he remains in violation of the GPL, we may well choose to support efforts by others to invalidate Yodaiken's patent in the courts, and we may also support actions taken by others to uphold the GPL.