Feeds

Premature exit for GPL test case?

Boomshakalaka

Business security measures using SSL

A GNU General Public License (GPL) test case in the US looks dead in the water after a start-up promised to abide by the GPLv2 rather than duke it out in court with the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC).

The SFLC last week filed suit against Monsoon Multimedia, alleging the Silicon Valley start-up had breached GPLv2. It said Monsoon had shipped media products without making available the machine-readable source code for BusyBox, a set of Unix utilities licensed under open source. The BusyBox developers subsequently withdrew permission for Monsoon to use their source code.

Monsoon has promised to make source code to BusyBox available on its website "in the coming weeks" to fully comply with "all open source software license agreements".

It's unclear at this stage if Monsoon's peace offering means the SFLC's case is still on.

Critical factors in settling the case out of court will likely be when code is made available and the size of any settlement for BusyBox’s developers. The SFLC couldn't be reached for comment.

When announcing the suit, the SFLC expressed skepticism over Monsoon's willingness to comply with the GPL. According to Dan Ravisher, SFLC senior legal director, Monsoon was notified through its support forums of the need to make the code available, but the attitude had been: "We'll get around to it when we get around to it."

In a statement today Graham Radstone, Monsoon chairman and chief operating officer, said: "Since we intend to and always intended to comply with all open source software license requirements, we are confident that the matter will be quickly resolved."

So it looks like that this is not the case that will establish GPL as a precedent under US law. That may be a disappointment to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), founder of the SFLC, and guardian of the GNU General Public License. It is locked in a battle of wills with Microsoft over whether the company is bound by the terms of the GPL through a deal struck last year to exchange intellectual property with Linux vendor Novell.

Establishing GPL as a legal precedent could help prosecutors convince a judge in any future case that Microsoft must accept and adhere to GPL.®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.