BusinessWeek's tech columnist, Stephen Wildstrom, opines on the current state of uncertainty surrounding Linux's possible IP right infringements:
How does software owned by everyone and by no one survive in a world where copyrights and patents shape the legal landscape?
Of course, the Open Source Risk Management report of 283 possible patent infringements has made organizations wary of stepping into legal quicksand.
What's worse, even legal experts are hard pressed to make any definitive statement whether a derivative work is indeed a derivative work under the GPL.
The truth is we don't really know, and there are reasonable arguments on both sides
---Jay Michaelson, co-founder of software company Wasabi Systems and a lawyer and a programmer
Of course, the simplest solution would be to drop the GPL for some other licensing scheme that doesn't raise more questions than it answers. At least that's Wildstrom's solution. I won't hold my breath.