Ghostscript Files Suit Against US Election Machine Manufacturers

Nov 06, 2008

Artifex Software, the company behind Ghostscript, has filed a lawsuit against a subsidiary company (PES) of the electronic voting machine manufacturers Diebold due to alleged infringements in copyright.

Ghostscript is a dual licensed software that can raster, modify and print Postscript and PDF documents. Payment to the Artifex Commercial License is required when used commercially, otherwise the software can run under the GPL.

The voting machines in question were, for example, used in the U.S. Presidential Elections on Tuesday. Ghostscript was presumably used to print out electronic voting data. Artifex is demanding damages of 150.000 USD and has asked the court to confiscate the machines (reported by InformationWeek). The court is still waiting for official reactions from Diebold and PES.

The source code of the voting machines became public in 2003 when Diebold developers placed the highly secret software on a public FTP server. There the code was downloaded and freely published.

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