As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I’m not a big fan of Sarbanes-Oxley, so I generally appreciate the criticism it receives. Some of the criticism, however, is almost comical. Take for example Steve Ballmer’s statement last month: ”The Ballmer children do not have their Xbox 360 yet…Thanks to the wonders of Sarbanes-Oxley, management does not get a free Xbox 360.â€? See this post for more details. Tonight I ran across this report which claims as follows:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the Enron and other financial scandals, requires public companies to provide truthful disclosures of information, including ownership of intellectual property. Thus, if a company is violating the GPL, executives who do not disclose the cheating are violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, because they are not truthfully disclosing that they do not lawfully own their intellectual property. In other words, GPL evasion is now a criminal violation for executives both [sic] of public companies.
GPL refers to the GNU General Public License. Companies who use the Linux operating system are supposed to comply with it. I suppose one could dream up a hypotheticl situation where a GPL violation would constitute a criminal SOX violation, but the quoted language above is a gross overstatement. It leads to headlines like mine and this one: “Linux Users May be Violating Sarbanes-Oxley.”
WAIT A SECOND, IS THIS BLOG HOSTED ON A SERVER THAT RUNS ON LINUX?? I GOTTA GO.