High-Gain, Target Of GPL Suit, Settles With Developers - InformationWeek
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3/6/2008
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High-Gain, Target Of GPL Suit, Settles With Developers

High-Gain officials have agreed to appoint an open source compliance officer, publish their source code, and pay an undisclosed amount to the originators of BusyBox.

High-Gain Antennas today announced that it has settled a suit filed against it in November over its use of GPL code.

High-Gain officials said they have agreed to appoint an open source compliance officer to monitor and ensure they stay within the provisions of the General Public License as they embed BusyBox code, a set of lightweight Unix utilities, in their wireless antenna devices.

High-Gain is also required to publish the source code for the version of BusyBox that it uses and previously distributed on its Web site. The settlement also includes a financial payment to the originators of BusyBox, Erik Andersen and Rob Landley. The amount of the payment was not disclosed.

"This has been an education about the GPL," said Richard Bruckner, CEO and founder of High-Gain. "The quick dismissal shows the effort made by BusyBox to assist in the education of GPL compliancy without seeking costly and unnecessary litigation," he said.

Bruckner defended High-Gain's past practice of making the source code available at customer request, but said improvement was needed in making customers aware they have a right to the code at the time of sale.

"We are extremely pleased to have resolved this matter," said Dan Ravicher, legal director of the Software Freedom Law Center, which filed the complaint against High-Gain in U.S. District Court in New York on Nov. 19.

The Software Freedom Law Center was established by Eben Moglen, a Columbia University law professor, to help protect the rights of open source code developers. Its first suit was filed last September against Monsoon Multimedia, which was also quickly settled.

The center's biggest target to date has been a Dec. 7 suit filed against telecommunications giant, Verizon. It remains in the courts.

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