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Another GPL suit ends with complianceJay Lyman, March 12, 2008 @ 12:53 am ET
The SFLC has settled yet another GPL lawsuit, this time agreeing to dismiss its case against High-Gain Antennas. Similar to prior agreements to comply, the latest GPL settlement comes with some key requirements for the defendant, which was sued for distributing GPL’d BusyBox code in its wireless connectivity devices without properly sharing source code. To dismiss the case, High-Gain Antennas has agreed to appoint an open source compliance officer, publish source code for the version of BusyBox it previously distributed through its Web site and notify recipients of their rights to the software. In addition, the settlement includes an undisclosed payment from High-Gain Antennas to the BusyBox developers who were the plaintiffs in the case.
The settlement leaves one remaining GPL suit from the recent round of enforcements, which total four since the first suit in September 2007, also based on the GPL-licensed BusyBox software. That remaining one is a biggie, U.S. telecom and wireless giant Verizon. While the settlements so far should serve to bolster the GPL in general, Verizon is one company that could let a long legal process play out. However, Verizon may also choose to listen to the advice of High-Gain Antennas CEO and founder Richard Bruckner, who stressed the need for more GPL awareness. Bruckner credits the settlement to “the effort made by BusyBox to assist in the education of GPL compliancy without seeking costly and unecessary litigation.” Even if Verizon did choose the courtroom, that could deliver what many open source and GPL supporters have been calling for: U.S. case law on the GPL.
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