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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open Source Software Developers Sue Verizon, Claim FiOS Violates GPL

In what could become a major test case for the most widely used open source software license, a group that represents open source developers has sued Verizon Communications -- claiming that the telecom giant's FiOS broadband service violates the terms of the GNU General Public License.

In court papers filed Friday, The Software Freedom Law Center maintains Verizon's use of an open source program called BusyBox in FiOS violates version 2 the GPL because Verizon has not made the product's source code available to its customers--as the license requires.

Since November 2006, "Verizon has distributed to the public copies of the firmware in the infringing product, and none of these distributions included source code to BusyBox or offers to provide such code," SFLC alleges in its complaint, which was filed in federal court in New York.

SFLC says the offending software code can be found in Verizon's Actiontech MI424WR wireless router, a piece of equipment that's supplied to FiOS subscribers. The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of BusyBox developers Erik Andersen and Rob Landley.
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