Feeds

GPL scores historic court compliance victory

I want my HDTV settlement

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Open sourcers have scored a major victory in a US court over violation of the GPL.

The Software Freedom Conservancy has secured $90,000 in damages for willful infringement of GPLv2, plus nearly $50,000 in costs from Westinghouse Digital Electronics over its illegal distribution of the Unix utility BusyBox. The company has also been ordered to stop shipping product loaded with BusyBox.

It's the first time a US court has awarded an injunction ordering a GPL violator to permanently stop distribution of out-of-compliance GPL'd software.

It might not be the last. The action is one of 14 that SFC has filed against the same number of consumer electronics manufactures and retailers for GPL violations, including Best Buy, Samsung Electronics America, and JVC Americas.

Westinghouse was pulled up for copying, modifying, and distributing BusyBox in firmware for its HDTV products and in software intended for use in HDTV without complying with the GPL license.

As part of the settlement, SFC has also secured the right to compel Westinghouse to hand over all unsold products loaded with BusyBox for donation to charity.

The company's costs could have been lower, but the New-York district court hearing the case took a dim view of the fact that Westinghouse's legal team failed to appear for the discovery phase.

Westinghouse is currently in General Assignment, an alternative to bankruptcy under California state law, and declined to defend itself. That means SFC and BusyBox's creator must now apply to Westinghouse's administrators as creditors in order to receive payment — and probably to get their HDTV kit. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.