SFLC Files Lawsuit against Cisco on Behalf of the FSF

December 11, 2008

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), against Cisco Systems, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Cisco violated the GNU General Public License (GPL) and Lesser General Public License (LGPL) in its distribution of FSF software.

The complaint asserts that Cisco distributed several FSF-copyrighted programs without providing complete and corresponding source code as required by the GPL and LGPL, including GNU C Library, GNU Coreutils, GNU Readline, GNU Parted, GNU Wget, GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Binutils, and GNU Debugger. FSF requests that an injunction be issued against Cisco and that damages and litigation costs be awarded to the FSF. A copy of the complaint is available.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, is the first ever filed on behalf of the FSF, and the first undertaken by SFLC for a client other than the developers of BusyBox. FSF has a press release available.

“In the fifteen years we’ve spent enforcing our licenses, we’ve never gone to court before. While litigation is a last resort, we’re prepared to take the legal action necessary to defend users’ freedoms. With SFLC’s help, the FSF is able to take effective action,” said Peter Brown, executive director of FSF.

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