Home Business IT Open Source Court orders GPL compliance

A court in the US has ordered a company not complying with the terms of the GNU General Public Licence ver 2.0 to stop distributing the software which was putting it in non-compliance and awarded damages to the plaintiffs.


The Software Freedom Conservancy and Erik Anderson, the developer of Busybox, filed the suit against Westinghouse Digital Electronics and 13 others over the distribution of the Busybox utility in HDTV products.

The US district court in the southern district of New York fined Westinghouse $US90,000 and ordered the company to stop shipping Busybox.

According to the judgement, the plaintiffs had informed Westinghouse on September 2 last year about the infringement. No notice was taken and Westinghouse continued to distribute Busybox.

After answering the complaint and complying with initial disclosures, Westinghouse ceased to meet its discovery obligations, the judgement said.

Due to this, on June 3, the plaintiffs moved for a default judgement or summary judgement against Westinghouse which was granted on August 3.

The company has undergone an assignment for the benefit of creditors - an alternative to bankruptcy under California law - and hence the plaintiffs will have to join the list of creditors who are entitled to claims.

Acting on the plaintiffs' request, the court also ordered that all products which have been already loaded with Busybox should be handed over to them for donation to charity.

 

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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