FSF Vs. Cisco: Are The Gloves Coming Off? - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture
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12/15/2008
11:47 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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FSF Vs. Cisco: Are The Gloves Coming Off?

Looks like Cisco and the Free Software Foundation are about to come to real legal blows. The FSF filed a lawsuit this morning alleging that some Linksys brand routers use FOSS without properly releasing the source code for same. What's going on here?

Looks like Cisco and the Free Software Foundation are about to come to real legal blows. The FSF filed a lawsuit this morning alleging that some Linksys brand routers use FOSS without properly releasing the source code for same. What's going on here?

Well, according to the background in the piece linked above, and according to Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, it's all about how Cisco has only talked more of the talk than they've walked the walk. Source code for the software used on the Linksys devices has indeed been made available through Cisco, but it's often been from older or outdated editions of the programs in question. Cisco, on the other hand, staunchly insists it's done nothing wrong.

If this is anything like what happened with Asus earlier in the year, maybe it's a simple case of an internal communication breakdown on Cisco's part -- where the people assigned to do this sort of thing have simply dropped the ball completely. I'd sooner assume honest mistakes then dishonest duplicity any day of the week. I find it hard to believe that Cisco would sooner court a lawsuit than admit incompetence in this respect. But stranger things have happened, haven't they?


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