The case is significant in that it marks the first time in the United States that a company is taken to court for GPL violations. Previous alleged GPL violations have all been settled by letters from the Free Software Foundation.
Monsoon uses the BusyBox lightweight set of Unix utilities embedded in its HAVA TV appliances and had initially resisted the BusyBox developers' demand that it honour the terms of the Gnu General Public Licence version 2 (GPLv2) under which BusyBox was distributed. The GPL requires that distributors provide access to the source code of the software to all recipients.
In exchange for the dismissal, Monsoon agreed to do the following:
- Appoint a Compliance Officer to prevent future infringements
- Make the source code available for download from its Web site
- Make efforts to contact affected users
- Pay undisclosed damages to the plaintiffs
- BusyBox settles Monsoon GPL lawsuit (CNET News.com)
- Monsoon settles GPL suit (Linux Journal)
- SFLC, BusyBox, Monsoon dismiss GPL lawsuit (LinuxDevices.com)
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.