News

BusyBox Developers and High-Gain Antennas Agree to Dismiss GPL Lawsuit

Good Faith Discussions Result in Closing of Copyright Infringement Case

March 6, 2008

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and High-Gain Antennas today jointly announced that an agreement has been reached to dismiss the GPL enforcement lawsuit filed by SFLC on behalf of two principal developers of BusyBox.

BusyBox is a lightweight set of standard Unix utilities commonly used in embedded systems and is open source software licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. One of the conditions of the GPL is that re-distributors of BusyBox are required to ensure that each downstream recipient is provided access to the source code of the program. High-Gain Antennas uses BusyBox in several of its wireless connectivity devices.

As a result of the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit and reinstate High-Gain Antennas' rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL, High-Gain Antennas has agreed to appoint an Open Source Compliance Officer within its organization to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, to publish the source code for the version of BusyBox it previously distributed on its Web site, and to undertake substantial efforts to notify previous recipients of BusyBox from High-Gain Antennas of their rights to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an undisclosed amount of financial consideration paid by High-Gain Antennas to the plaintiffs.

"We are extremely pleased to have resolved this matter and wish High-Gain Antennas all the best," said Dan Ravicher, SFLC's Legal Director.

"This has been an education about the GPL -- one that all manufacturers and resellers need to be up to speed on," said Richard Bruckner, CEO and founder of High-Gain Antennas. "BusyBox was very open to learning what our position is in the wireless marketplace, and the quick dismissal shows the effort made by BusyBox to assist in the education of GPL compliancy without seeking costly and unnecessary litigation. Although we have always made the source code available upon request to our clients we have found where improvements were needed to make our clients aware at point of sale. High-Gain Antennas is a quick to adapt and quick to market manufacturer, therefore it is important that we stay abreast of the ever-changing technologies and necessary compliances."

The lawsuit, "Erik Andersen and Rob Landley v. High-Gain Antennas, LLC" case number 07-CV-10456-LBS, was filed November 19, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

About the Software Freedom Law Center

The Software Freedom Law Center -- directed by Eben Moglen, one of the world's leading experts on copyright law as applied to software -- provides legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software. The Law Center is dedicated to assisting non-profit open source developers and projects. Visit SFLC at http://www.softwarefreedom.org.

About High-Gain Antennas

High-Gain Antennas develops, manufacturers and markets products that are deemed instrumental in the rapid deployment of wireless fidelity IEEE 802.11X based Wide Area Networks. High-Gain Antennas assists Wireless Internet Service Providers in every facet of providing cost effective high-speed internet to the market place.

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