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BusyBox and Monsoon Settle Litigation with GPL Compliance Achieved
Tuesday, October 30 2007 @ 01:16 PM EDT

I've just heard from the Software Freedom Law Center that the BusyBox-Monsoon Multimedia GPL-enforcement litigation has been settled on the following terms:
As a result of the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit and reinstate Monsoon Multimedia's rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL, Monsoon Multimedia 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 Monsoon Multimedia of their rights to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an undisclosed amount of financial consideration paid by Monsoon Multimedia to the plaintiffs.

It was filed on September 19th, so that's a happy ending and now everyone can move on amicably. You'll notice that Monsoon had to have its GPL rights restored. It's not automatic under GPLv2.

Here's the meat of the press release:

****************************

BusyBox Developers and Monsoon Multimedia Agree to Dismiss GPL Lawsuit

Productive and Amicable Negotiations Lead to Settlement of Copyright Infringement Case

NEW YORK and SAN MATEO, Calif., October 30, 2007 -- The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and Monsoon Multimedia 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 the 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. Monsoon Multimedia uses BusyBox in its HAVA TV place-shifting devices.

As a result of the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit and reinstate Monsoon Multimedia's rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL, Monsoon Multimedia 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 Monsoon Multimedia of their rights to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an undisclosed amount of financial consideration paid by Monsoon Multimedia to the plaintiffs.

"Although we really hated having to ask our attorneys to file a lawsuit to get Monsoon Multimedia to abide by the GPL, we are extremely pleased that they worked so hard and so fast to come into compliance," said Rob Landley, a developer of BusyBox and a named plaintiff in the lawsuit.

"Going forward, we are confident that Monsoon Multimedia will be upstanding members of the open source community and we wish them the absolute best of luck with their business," said Erik Andersen, the other BusyBox developer named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

"We are happy to put this behind us and move forward," said Graham Radstone, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer at Monsoon Multimedia. "The fact that Monsoon Multimedia and BusyBox have reached an agreement amicably shows that settlement is far better than costly litigation. We will ensure that we are in compliance with the agreement in the future. Monsoon Multimedia is a highly innovative company and occupies a leading position in the emerging place-shifting market; therefore it is essential that we set an example for compliance for others."

The lawsuit, "Erik Andersen and Rob Landley v. Monsoon Multimedia Inc.," case number 07-CV-8205, was filed September 19th 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 Monsoon Multimedia

Monsoon Multimedia provides advanced, standards based multimedia products and technologies for the PC and Consumer Electronics industries. Monsoon Multimedia licenses highly optimized multimedia solutions comprising applications, drivers, frameworks, middleware and reference designs. Monsoon Multimedia also distributes and sells its revolutionary TV place shifting device under its own "HAVA" brand. HAVA lets you watch live home TV or your own recorded content in multiple rooms around the home, at work, or around the globe. Monsoon Multimedia's customers and partners are semiconductor companies, PC manufacturers, software suppliers and consumer electronics companies. Founded by the founders of Dazzle and Emuzed, the company is headquartered in Noida, India with offices in California and Russia. For more information, please visit www.myhava.com and www.monsoonmultimedia.com.


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