FSF Sues Cisco for GPL Violations

Dec 12, 2008

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed a lawsuit for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) against network giant Cisco Systems.

The claim: Cisco is distributing a number of GPL-licensed products under the Linksys brand without providing its source code to users. Some of the products are also licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

Among the licensed programs are GNU C Library, GNU Coreutils, GNU Readine, GNU Parted, GNU Wget, GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Binutils and the GNU Debugger.

The Boston-based SFLC filed the action in New York district court. A copy of the entire complaint, including full text of the 1999 GPL and LGPL, is in PDF. The FSF is seeking an injunction against, and payment of damages from, the California company.

The lawsuit is a first for the FSF, says its executive director Peter Brown. "In the fifteen years we've spent enforcing our licenses, we've never gone to court before." An announcement from the foundation provides further details about the FSF vs. Cisco case.

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