Feeds

Premature exit for GPL test case?

Boomshakalaka

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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.®

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
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
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.
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.