Feeds

Premature exit for GPL test case?

Boomshakalaka

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.