[LINK] Software Freedom Law Center files first US GPL
gdt at gdt.id.au
Mon Sep 24 15:37:51 EST 2007
Roger Clarke quoted:
> Software Freedom Law Center files first US GPL infringement suit
> This is the first time that a company has been sued in the United States
> for failing to fulfill the copyleft obligations imposed by the license.
GPL-based suits in Germany are quite common, as copyright legal actions
there must commence promptly after the discovery of the license breach.
Fujitsu, Siemens, Asus, Belkin and many others settled. D-Link did not
settle and was found guilty.
> Monsoon is accused of including BusyBox in the firmware for a video
> streaming device that is distributed under a proprietary license that
> isn't compatible with the terms of the GPL.
Busybox used to keep a "Wall of Shame" to encourage vendors to abide
by the license. This was not working (the Wall got to about 70 vendors)
and the Software Freedom Law Center was asked to take over enforcement.
The action against Monsoon is the first of these.
Monsoon seems to have attracted the early attention of the SFLC lawyers
by failing to respond to SFLC correspondence, leaving legal notices as
the only available communications mechanism.
In the past in the US most people with violated code used the
softly-softly approach of the Free Software Foundation. The
feeling in the embedded device sector is that this approach is
simply ignored by device distributors and a stronger approach
is needed to gain compliance.
The SFLC approach is certainly strong -- unlike the Germans
the SFLC is also asking for all of the profits from distributing
the GPL-violating devices.
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