Free Software Foundation suing Cisco For GPL Violations

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Tim Higgins

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. The violations have taken the form of source code downloads that were incomplete or out of date.

Linksys products named in the suit include EFG120, EFG250, NAS200, SPA400, WAG300N, WAP4400N,WIP300, WMA11B, WRT54GL, WRV200, WRV54G, and WVC54GC, and in the program Quick-VPN.

FSF licensing compliance engineer Brett Smith explained in a blog posting that the FSF has been working with Cisco since 2003 to resolve the violations. But after repeated failures to get Cisco to come into and stay in compliance, the FSF felt that a suit was the best way to "to ensure users have the rights that our licenses guarantee".

The complaint was filed this morning in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Software Freedom Law Center, which is providing representation to the FSF in this case.

The FSF is asking for an injunction to prevent Cisco from "copying, modifying, distributing or making any other infringing use" of the FSF software in question, compensation for damages and payment of court costs.

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