Saturday, December 13, 2008

FSF sues Cisco


Today, the FSF let Cisco Systems know in no uncertain terms that line had been crossed. The complaint centers on the Linksys brand routers, and the firmware used on those products.

Brett Smith, the licensing compliance engineer at the FSF said that in 2003, the FSF was notified that the Linksys WRT54G used GPL/LGPL licensed code in its firmware, but customers weren't getting the source code that these licenses required Cisco supply. He said that initially, Cisco seemed willing to work with the FSF to put procedures in place so that its products -- at the time, and in the future -- would comply with the license terms the firmware used.

Over the course of five years, a compliance plan never materialized. As the FSF investigated the Linksys WRT54G complaint, it was receiving license violation reports regarding other Cisco products. Smith says that new issues were being brought up before the older ones could be addressed, resulting in "...a five-years-running game of Whack-A-Mole."



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