RealTime IT News

Another GPL Lawsuit is Settled

Sometimes even with the best of intentions can lead to the road to litigation for violating an source license license.

That's the message from wireless vendor High Gain Antennas, which had been on the receiving end of a GPL v2 open source license lawsuit from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) on behalf of BusyBox developers.

The SFLC and High Gain Antennas today announced that the lawsuit has been dropped as the two parties have reached an out of court settlement. The settlement calls for High Gain Antennas to appoint an Open Source Compliance Officer to monitor and ensure GPL compliance. High Gain Antennas will also pay an undisclosed financial sum as part of the settlement.

Plus, High Gain Antennas will now also be fully compliant with the terms of the GPLv2, under which the group uses the BusyBox code. The GPL requires that source code is made available to end users. The SFLC had alleged that High Gain Antennas had not properly done so.

The original BusyBox lawsuit against High Gain Antennas was filed in November of 2007. The SFLC had filed suit again Xterasys at the same time in an action that was settled in December.

BusyBox is a collection of UNIX utilities that have been optimized for size and are most commonly used in embedded environments. BusyBox is licensed under the GPL, which is a reciprocal license and requires that users make the source code available to end users. [cob:Special_Report]

"This has been an education about the GPL -- one that all manufacturers and resellers need to be up to speed on," said Richard Bruckner, CEO and founder of High-Gain Antennas in a statement. "BusyBox was very open to learning what our position is in the wireless marketplace, and the quick dismissal shows the effort made by BusyBox to assist in the education of GPL compliancy without seeking costly and unnecessary litigation."

With the close of the legal action against High Gain Antennas, the SFLC has successfully negotiated three GPLv2 cases on behalf of BusyBox. The first was the Monsoon Multimedia case, second being the Xterasys settlement.

There is still however at least one case that is still outstanding - SFLC's case against telecom dvocates+Slap+Verizon+With+GPL+giant Verizon which is still pending.

"We are in fact in settlement talks with Verizon, but I can't comment beyond that," SFLC spokesperson Jim Garrison told InternetNews.com.