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[News] GPL Gets Another Opportunity to Win in Court

  • Subject: [News] GPL Gets Another Opportunity to Win in Court
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 02:59:24 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Second Round of GPL Infringement Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of BusyBox Developers

,----[ Quote ]
| The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today announced that it has filed two 
| more copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of its clients, two principal 
| developers of BusyBox, alleging violation of the GNU General Public License 
| (GPL). The defendants in the lawsuits are Xterasys Corporation and High-Gain 
| Antennas, LLC. BusyBox is a lightweight set of standard Unix utilities 
| commonly used in embedded systems and is open source software licensed under 
| GPL version 2.      



Is the Monsoon settlement a missed opportunity?

,----[ Quote ]
| Certainly more was hoped for from the first US GPL lawsuit. “This case is 
| very important because it will establish what type of remedies (either 
| contract or copyright) are available to licensors for breach of the GPLv2,” 
| wrote Mark Radcliffe at the time the complaint was filed.   
| However, for those looking for legal precedent, all may not be lost. “Stay 
| tuned, however, as this is likely not the last lawsuit we will see here in 
| the U.S. to enforce the terms of the GPL,” notes Haislmaier.  


Do Microsoft's EULAs have any real legal basis?

,----[ Quote ]
| "Microsoft has no special exemption from the sale of goods act." Well,
| no, probably not - but it might still be selling you "services"
| instead of "goods". But the real point to remember is that it doesn't
| matter a jot what the "logical" position is, it is what the courts
| decide that matters.
| As far as I know, no one has tested Microsoft's EULAs in a UK court
| and, until someone does, Microsoft will just go on assuming that they
| work. And I don't fancy the risk of taking on Microsoft's expensive
| lawyers in court myself...


BusyBox Developers and Monsoon Multimedia Agree to Dismiss GPL Lawsuit

,----[ Quote ]
| The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and Monsoon Multimedia today jointly 
| announced that an agreement has been reached to dismiss the GPL enforcement 
| lawsuit filed by SFLC on behalf of two principal developers of BusyBox.  


And Just Like That, The Games End — First Ever GPL Lawsuit Dismissed

,----[ Quote ]
| In the agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, the SFLC is reporting that Monsoon 
| Multimedia has agreed to appoint an “Open Source Compliance Officer” within 
| its organization “to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, to publish the source 
| code for the version of BusyBox it previously distributed on its web site, 
| and to undertake substantial efforts to notify previous recipients of BusyBox 
| from Monsoon Multimedia of their rights to the software under the GPL.     
| [...]
| Stay tuned, however, as this is likely not the last lawsuit we will see here 
| in the U.S. to enforce the terms of the GPL. 


SFLC: Setting Legal Precedent Not the Goal of GPL Case

,----[ Quote ]
| Software Freedom Law Center co-founder Dan Ravicher says the Center’s 
| copyright infringement case against Monsoon Multimedia on behalf of the  
| creators of BusyBox is not about setting legal precedent for the use and 
| interpretation of the GNU General Public License.   


GPL defenders say: See you in court

,----[ Quote ]
| The license also requires anyone distributing GPL software, in an executable 
| form that a computer can run, to make the complete source code available. One 
| example: Cisco Systems subsidiary Linksys, which  shares the GPL software 
| used in its wireless networking equipment.   


First U.S. GPL lawsuit heads for quick settlement

,----[ Quote ]
| The first U.S. GPL-related lawsuit appears to be headed for a quick 
| out-of-court settlement. Monsoon Multimedia admitted today that it had 
| violated the GPLv2 (GNU General Public License version 2), and said it will 
| release its modified BusyBox code in full compliance with the license.   


New Method To Detect and Prove GPL Violations

,----[ Quote ]
| "A paper to be presented at the upcoming academic conference Automated 
| Software Engineering describes a new method to detect code theft and could be 
| used to detect GPL violations in particular. While the co-called birthmarking  
| method is demonstrated for Java, it is general enough to work for other 
| languages as well..."   


German Court convicted Skype of violating the GPL

,----[ Quote ]
| German district court Munich has convicted Skype of violating the GPL. One of 
| the VoIP telephones sold by Skype run Linux, but the GPL text was not handed 
| out together with the phone, although the GPL requires that.  


German GPL defender claims legal victory
,----[ Quote ]
| Open-source programmer Harald Welte said Thursday he won a civil court
| case in Germany centered on the General Public License (GPL). The license
| governs many open-source projects and permits anyone to use software
| covered by it, but requires that companies incorporating GPL software
| make the underlying source code available.


gpl-violations.org project prevails in court case on GPL violation by D-Link

,----[ Quote ]
| D-Link Germany GmbH, a subsidiary of D-Link Corporation, Taiwan R.O.C.,
| distributed DSM-G600, a network attached storage (NAS) device which uses a
| Linux-based Operating System.  However, this distribution was incompliant 
| with the GNU General Public License (GPL) which covers the Linux Kernel and
| many other software programs used in the product.


Wallace's Appeal Firmly Rejected - GPL Has Nothing to Fear [pdf]

,----[ Quote ]
| PJ: "Just so you know, Daniel Wallace's appeal of the ruling
| against him in his pro se quest to overthrow the GPL on antitrust
| grounds, one of SCO's daydreams too, has been firmly rejected by
| the appeals court, as I knew it would be."


Would Dostoevsky Use the GPL?

,----[ Quote ]
| I get nervous whenever large software shops talk up the virtues of a license 
| with fewer protections of developer and user rights. In the linked articles 
| above, there is talk of permissive licenses being the path of least 
| resistance, with the premise that it's "easier" to gravitate towards them. My 
| question is - easier for whom? Easier for the developers or easier for the 
| companies who wish to make use of it without those annoying obligations to 
| the greater free software ecosystem? As is often mentioned by others smarter 
| than me, a scenario where developers gravitate towards permissive licenses 
| makes it easier for companies to avoid community reciprocity.        


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