The court forbade distribute televisions violating GPL

Organization Center for the Protection of Free Software (Software Freedom Law Center) reported on the successful conclusion of a trial involving a violation of terms of the GPL companies Westinghouse Digital Electronics, included in the firmware HDTV-free devices without opening the package BusyBox accompanying source code.

The court found the company guilty and Westinghouse decided to ban distribute high-definition televisions that contain a program BusyBox, the transfer of already released copies of the charity. In addition, the court ordered to pay compensation to the developers of $ 90 thousand dollars plus 48 thousand dollars to pay for costs associated with the payment of the lawyers engaged by the Center for the protection of free software. The event overshadowed the fact of being a bit of the Westinghouse under bankruptcy, which virtually ceased to exist and is forced to sell their assets for the return of debts to creditors. The chances of a prescribed court in light of the bankruptcy estate is small, but the decision may serve as a good lesson for all violators of the GPL.

The event is not ordinary, as the first time in U.S. jurisprudence, the court found was wrong wrongdoing GPL, thus creating a legal precedent, which has long sought the supporters of the GPL. The number of claims filed in court involving violation of the GPL license numbering in dozens and became one of the not surprising phenomena. All such claims so far culminated outside the court in a peaceful settlement of the conflict, in which the company paid the wrongdoing developers GPL-product cash compensation and comply with terms of the GPL in its products.

Legal action against the Westinghouse was filed in December last year in conjunction with lawsuits against 13 manufacturers of consumer electronics, among which the company Samsung, Best Buy, JVC, Zyxel, and Western Digital. In the case are the facts of the code package busybox, without complying with the conditions of the GPL.

4 August 2010

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