Free Software Foundation Filed GPL Violations Suit Against Cisco

by on December 11, 2008 · 3 comments· LAST UPDATED December 12, 2008

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The Free Software Foundation (FSF) - a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman; today announced that it has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Cisco. The FSF's complaint alleges that in the course of distributing various products under the Linksys brand Cisco has violated the licenses of many programs on which the FSF holds copyright, including GCC, binutils, and the GNU C Library. In doing so, Cisco has denied its users their right to share and modify the software.

According to FSF press release:

We've decided that the best way to resolve this situation is to file suit. It's not a decision we take lightly. A lawsuit takes resources that we would rather spend elsewhere. But first and foremost, our mission is to make sure that computer users everywhere have the right to share and change the software that they use. Cisco has been denying its customers the rights guaranteed to them by the GPL and the LGPL, and we must put an end to that.

According to wikipedia:

From 2002-2004, high profile GPL enforcement cases, such as those against Linksys and OpenTV, became frequent. GPL enforcement and educational campaigns on GPL compliance was a major focus of the FSF's efforts during this period.

Read the full complaint here and more background about the Cisco case here.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David December 12, 2008 at 12:18 am

I think you meant “Free Software Foundation Filed GPL Violations Suit Against Cisco”.

Any way, this is sad indeed – sad that a company won’t make good on the GPL licenses up front instead of having to be sued.

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2 nixCraft December 12, 2008 at 6:23 am

Thanks for the heads up.

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3 Maqbool Patel December 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Is this the first time such a law suite is playing out? It is sas that CISCO should be doing this to FSF.

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