BusyBox Developers and Supermicro Agree to End GPL Lawsuit

Good Faith Discussions Result in Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Case

July 23, 2008

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today announced that an agreement has been reached to dismiss the GNU General Public License (GPL) enforcement lawsuit filed by SFLC against Super Micro Computer, Inc. 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 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. Supermicro distributes BusyBox in its AOC-SIM1U+ IPMI 2.0 System Management Card and via its Web site.

As a result of the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit and offering to reinstate Supermicro’s rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL, Supermicro has agreed to appoint an Open Source Compliance Officer within its organization to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, to publish the complete and corresponding source code for the version of BusyBox it previously distributed, and to undertake substantial efforts to notify previous recipients of BusyBox from Supermicro of their rights to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an undisclosed amount of financial consideration to compensate the plaintiffs.

“We are pleased that the parties can put this matter behind them and that Supermicro has taken measures to avoid future GPL violations,” said Aaron Williamson, SFLC Counsel.

The lawsuit, “Erik Andersen and Rob Landley v. Super Micro Computer, Inc.” case number 1:08-cv-05269-RMB, was filed June 9, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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