SFLC files new GPL lawsuits


From the ‘when will they learn‘ files:

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed a pair of new lawsuits on behalf of its client BusyBox for alleged violations of the GPL open source license.

The defendants in this new round of lawsuits are Bell Microproducts, Inc. and Super Micro Computer, Inc.

“Before filing these lawsuits, we contacted both companies and gave them the opportunity to remedy their violations privately, but they were continually unresponsive,” said Aaron Williamson, SFLC Counsel in a statement. “When companies are contacted by SFLC or anyone else about a GPL violation, they need to respond by taking good faith steps toward compliance. If they do not, lawsuits like these are the predictable consequences.”

The GPL is a reciprocal license requiring license users to make the software available to end-users. While BusyBox is a collection of Unix utilities that have been
optimized for size and are most commonly used in embedded environments.

The complaints filed by the SFLC allege that Bell Microproducts, Inc. and Super Micro Computer, Inc have not adhered to the terms of the GPL.

10. Plaintiffs have at no time granted any permission to any party to copy, modify or distribute BusyBox under any terms other than those of the License.

The SFLC has been extremely successful to date in coming to settlements
with alleged GPL  violators. They are 4 for 4 in cases, with the most recent settlement coming from Verizon in March in of this year.

Considering their successful track record to date, I would think that it is safe to assume that it’s only a matter of time till an out of court settlement is reached in these two new cases as well.

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