Feeds

Court slaps injunction on GPL infringer

Landmark German ruling

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A German court has granted an injunction for an infringement of general public licence (GPL) software.

Munich District Court granted the preliminary injunction against Sitecom Germany, in response to a request from the netfilter/iptables project.

Sitecom sells a wireless access router product which uses software developed by the netfilter project. Under the terms of the GPL, this is OK - so long as Sitecom, as redistributor, makes the full source code available too. netfilter says the company has not only failed to do this, but has also neglected to include the terms of the GPL with its products.

Lawyers acting for the netfilter/iptables project said that to the best of their knowledge, this is the first case in which a judge has ruled on the validity of the GNU GPL.

The ruling follows a series of out-of-court settlements the project has concluded with other companies. The organisers of the project argue that the terms of the GPL matter just as much as any other proprietory software license terms.

Initially, netfilter approached Sitecom with a cease and desist order, taking the matter further when Sitecom refused to sign.

Sitecom CEO Pim Schoenenberger says that it could not sign the proposed declaration, "simply because it was phrased, as presented initially to Sitecom, as an admission of guilt on Sitecom's part and that Sitecom was liable for unlimited costs. Naturally we were unable to sign that and have of course taken legal advice regarding all legal documentation in connection with this matter."

Harald Welte, chairman of the netfilter core team, said the court action should not be interpreted as a move against the commercial use of free and open source software, and sought to reassure vendors that there was no legal risk in using GPL-licensed software in products: "But vendors have to comply with the license terms, just like they would have to with any other, even proprietary software license agreement."

Sitecom has been ordered to stop distributing its product until it complies with all terms of the GNU GPL.

Schoenenberger said that all terms, conditions and requirements have now been dealt with. "Sitecom now conforms to the GNU General Public License and are now awaiting their official approval," he confirmed. ®

Related stories

Against SCO's GPL jihad: one size doesn't fit all
The GPL will win, claims law prof.
Judge blocks route to GPL legal test case
Open source developers face new warranty threat

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.