"I thought you'd want to hear about what's just happened in the
Software Freedom Conservancy v. Best Buy, et al case. It's another
BusyBox case regarding infringement of the GPL, mostly about high
definition televisions with BusyBox in them, and while the case is
not finished regarding other defendants, it's certainly set another
precedent. One of the defendants was Westinghouse Digital
Technologies, LLC, which refused to participate in discovery. It
had applied for a kind of bankruptcy equivalent in California.
Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York has now
granted Software Freedom Conservancy, a wing of Software Freedom
Law Center, triple damages ($90,000) for willful copyright
infringement, lawyer's fees and costs ($47,865), an injunction
against Westinghouse, and an order requiring Westinghouse to turn
over all infringing equipment in its possession to the plaintiffs,
to be donated to charity. So, presumably a lot of high-def TVs are
on their way to charities.
"Of course, to collect the money, the plaintiffs must apply to
bankruptcy court as a creditor, and you know from watching the SCO
case what can happen to creditors in a bankruptcy case, but if you
are one of the other defendants, one thing you know for sure now:
the GPL has teeth, it is enforceable in a court of law, and if you
violate it, it can cost you. Remember when you are choosing a
license, you want one that you know is enforceable in court."
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