Feeds

Premature exit for GPL test case?

Boomshakalaka

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.