Nov 3

There have been a series of lawsuits related to unfulfilled legal obligations from open source licenses over the years. Verizon, for example, was sued by the Software Freedom Law Center on behalf of Busybox, which is a GPL licensed package. The claim was that one of Verizon’s subcontractors used a GPL licensed package in Verizon’s wireless routers, without fulfilling the re-distribution obligations of GPL. This claim was settled when Verizon’s subcontractor agreed to provide its source code free to the public.

Similarly, in recent years there have been similar successful claims against Cisco, Monsoon Multimedia, and Xterasys (see articles in the links section below). In the Cisco/Linksys case, Cisco chose to re-engineer their routers to avoid GPL based re-distribution obligations. Xterasys was settled when Xterasys agreed to pay an undisclosed sum and to meet their GPL re-distribution obligations. The Monsoon Multimedia case is still in litigation.