Busybox settles a second GPL suit

Xterasys has become the second company to settle its GPL infringement lawsuit with programmers of the Busybox collection of utilities.

Programmers behind Busybox, a collection of utilities governed by the General Public License (GPL), have settled a second lawsuit that argued a company violated the widely used free and open-source license.

This time the company that settled is Xterasys, which makes networking products, said the Software Freedom Law Center, which represented the Busybox coders.

"As a result of the settlement, Xterasys has agreed to cease all binary distribution of BusyBox until SFLC confirms it has published complete corresponding source code on its Web site. Once SFLC verifies that the complete source code is available, Xterasys' full rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL will be reinstated," the center said on Monday. In addition, Xterasys agreed to appoint an open-source compliance officer, notify those who may have received the Busybox software from Xterasys of their GPL-granted rights, and pay the Busybox programers an undisclosed amount, SFLC said.

The Busybox programmers had sued Xterasys and High-Gain Antennas in November , not long after suing Monsoon Multimedia and not long before suing Verizon Communications . The moves collectively show that at least some are willing to be more legally assertive about GPL enforcement than in the past.

Monsoon settled its GPL lawsuit in October.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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