Verizon Settles GPL Lawsuit

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has just announced that they’ve settled their dispute (on behalf of their client BusyBox) with Verizon.

The Verizion law suit was originally filed in early December of 2007 , and alleged that Verizon had infringed on the GPL by way of its distribution of BusyBox inside of Actiontec equipment that was distributed to Verizon’s  FiOS customers.

BusyBox is a collection of Unix utilities optimized for size, and which
are most commonly used in embedded environments. The SFLC claimed that
the Actiontec router includes BusyBox code, which under the GPL means
that Verizon is obligated to distribute source code with the router.
The suit charged that the company fails to do this.

The settlement calls for Actiontec to appoint an Open Source Compliance Officer as well as ensuring that Actiontec properly makes available the BusyBox source code that it uses.  Additionally Actiontec will pay BusyBox an ‘undisclosed’ financial sum.

“We are happy to have settled this matter in a way that upholds the GPL and the interests of our clients,” said Dan Ravicher, Legal Director of SFLC in a statement.

The Verizon suit was the fourth legal action undertaken by the SFLC on behalf of BusyBox. All four cases have now been settled. SFLC has now settled with Monsoon Multimedia, Xterasys Corporation and High-Gain Antennas. All four cases have involved the appointment of an Open Source Compliance Officer as well as an undisclosed financial payment.

**UPDATED ** I actually got hold of Verizon and SFLC and have a more detailed story up on the main site. ***

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