BusyBox Developers and Xterasys Corporation Agree to Settle GPL Lawsuit

December 17, 2007

The Software Freedom Law Center, provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), today announced that it has settled the GPL violation lawsuit filed on behalf of BusyBox developers Erik Andersen and Rob Landley against Xterasys Corporation.

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. Many Xterasys networking products include BusyBox, but the company did not provide source code to its users as required under the GPL, so SFLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the company.

As a result of the settlement, Xterasys has agreed to cease all binary distribution of BusyBox until SFLC confirms it has published complete corresponding source code on its Web site. Once SFLC verifies that the complete source code is available, Xterasys’ full rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL will be reinstated.

Additionally, Xterasys has agreed to appoint an internal Open Source Compliance Officer to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, and to notify previous recipients of BusyBox from Xterasys of their rights to the software under the GPL. Xterasys will also pay an undisclosed amount of financial consideration to the plaintiffs.

“Although we regret that we had to file a lawsuit, we are pleased that Xterasys will now comply with the GPL,” said Dan Ravicher, Legal Director of SFLC.

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