VMware has been publicly chastised for allegedly violating the GPL in its proprietary vmkernel technology. Now, in VMware's most recent quarterly report, the company calls out widespread use of open-source software in its products.
It is customary for public companies to overstate risks to their businesses in an effort to forestall shareholder lawsuits. Better safe than sorry, seems to be the thinking.
Even so, I find it fascinating to see the extent of VMware's admission to using open-source software in its products, especially in light of the criticism noted above. Here is the relevant section of VMware's 10-Q in its (near-) entirety:
Our use of "open source" software could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to possible litigation.
A significant portion of the products or technologies acquired, licensed or developed by us may incorporate so-called "open source" software, and we may incorporate open source software into other products in the future....We monitor our use of open source software in an effort to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend.
Although we believe that we have complied with our obligations under the various applicable licenses for open source software that we use such that we have not triggered any such conditions, there is little or no legal precedent governing the interpretation of many of the terms of certain of these licenses, and therefore the potential impact of these terms on our business is somewhat unknown and may result in unanticipated obligations regarding our products and technologies.… Read more