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The GPL Wins Again

Aug 06, 2010, 10:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Michael Kerner)

"In December 2009, the Software Freedom Conservancy filed lawsuits against 14 consumer electronics vendors alleging that they were not in compliance with the GPL license. Of those 14 vendors, 13 have now either settled amicably or are in productive discussions toward a settlement.

"In one case, consumer electronics vendor Westinghouse failed to comply, and a U.S. District Court has now ruled in a default judgment against it.

"The open source GPL license is widely used and requires distributors to ensure that the code remains open and distributed with the products that use the code. Westinghouse includes the BusyBox GPL-licensed code as part of its HDTVs, and does not provide users with access to the GPL code. The court ruled that Westinghouse did not comply with its discovery obligations.

""I was glad Conservancy received the default judgment, but I was not surprised. I think the facts are quite clear," Bradley M. Kuhn, president of the Software Freedom Conservancy, told InternetNews.com. "Usually, anytime I do GPL enforcement for BusyBox the facts are never in dispute. The typical situation is that a firmware is distributed on the device that clearly contains BusyBox and no source nor offer for source code is included. So it was with Westinghouse."

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