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View Full Version : The Free Software Foundation's new Cisco suit!



Mr. Picklesworth
January 15th, 2009, 05:39 PM
The FSF has filed a suit against Cisco, accusing them of GPL and LGPL license violations. This one has been in the muttering for a couple of months now.

http://www.fsf.org/news/2008-12-cisco-suit

Should be interesting to follow.

Never been a fan of Cisco, myself, although my experience with them has been entirely through the Linksys brand. Those routers are all unnecessarily crippled to the point that they literally fry themselves within a few years. I had one that needed to be rebooted every week because it had less RAM than a Game Boy.
Considering the general shoddiness of those products I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case, be it intentional or not.

jomiolto
January 15th, 2009, 06:27 PM
"We began working with Cisco in 2003 to help them establish a process for complying with our software licenses, and the initial changes were very promising," explained Brett Smith, licensing compliance engineer at the FSF. "Unfortunately, they never put in the effort that was necessary to finish the process, and now five years later we have still not seen a plan for compliance. As a result, we believe that legal action is the best way to restore the rights we grant to all users of our software."

Wow, five years. They've been quite patient ;)

KiwiNZ
January 15th, 2009, 06:49 PM
For balance it would be nice to see the other side

Tom Mann
January 15th, 2009, 07:42 PM
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this suit. If it goes to court and Cisco win, there is potential that the GNU GPL (version?) license my be in disrepute. If the FSF will it will finally validate the GPL as legally binding.

Excuse me if I'm wrong; I believe this will be the first lawsuit going to court over the GPL license terms.

eragon100
January 15th, 2009, 07:46 PM
So now a judge will finally decide whether or not the GPL is legally bounding, right? May it be fried!

With all due respect, it would eliminate any concerns that, for example, the FSF would sue NVIDIA one day for their binary driver, making it impossible for Nvidia linux users (ME) to play a game or something. They are crazy enough for it.

Also, let companies do closed-source innovation from open source libs/programs! If the open-source one is better, or simply because it's free, people will use it anyway. It's called C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N.

Software patents and DRM on media and games are totally different issues tough, I would like those to get fried as well.

jomiolto
January 15th, 2009, 07:49 PM
Excuse me if I'm wrong; I believe this will be the first lawsuit going to court over the GPL license terms.

There have been several lawsuits around GPL in different countries (for example Skype in Germany (http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2007/07/25/skype-loses-gpl-lawsuit-in-germany)) and I think the license is on a quite solid basis.

EDIT: see, for example, this (http://gpl-violations.org/) site for more

happysmileman
January 15th, 2009, 09:04 PM
So now a judge will finally decide whether or not the GPL is legally bounding, right? May it be fried!

It's far less restricted than any proprietary license, yet i see more people complain about the GPL for being not "free" enough than they do about actually closed licenses. It's up to the develop of the software and his decision on HIS creation should be legally binding, providing it doesn't restrict the rights of the user in other ways.


Also, let companies do closed-source innovation from open source libs/programs! If the open-source one is better, or simply because it's free, people will use it anyway. It's called C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N.
Kinda like what happened with Firefox and Internet Explorer right, except... It didn't happen, IE still have a vast majority of market share, for the reason that most people will just use whatever they see first.

Anyway, it's not up to you what Developer Y does with Developer X's library, it's up to X. Whether he wants to charge 1000000 for it or give it for free.

Tom Mann
January 19th, 2009, 03:08 PM
There have been several lawsuits around GPL in different countries (for example Skype in Germany (http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2007/07/25/skype-loses-gpl-lawsuit-in-germany)) and I think the license is on a quite solid basis.

EDIT: see, for example, this (http://gpl-violations.org/) site for more

I was on the understanding that all actions to date were settled out-of-court...?