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Release Management : Article

Open Source Group Files Lawsuit Against Samsung, BestBuy and Others

BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable

Software Freedom Law Center(SFLC), a non-profit law firm established in 2005 to provide pro-bono legal services to FOSS developers, has filed a lawsuit against Best Buy, Samsung, Westinghouse, JVC and 10 other consumer electronics companies.

The SFLC acted on behalf of Software Freedom Conservancy which claims that the defendants sold products containing its BusyBox application in violation of the terms of the software's license, the GNU General Public License version 2.

BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable.

It is a component of embedded Linux used in everyday electronic gadgets. Under the GNU GPL v2, anyone can view, modify and use BusyBox for free as long as  they also distribute the source code to customers.

"We brought this suit as a last resort after each of these defendants ignored us or failed to meaningfully respond to our requests that they release the source code," SFLC lawyer Aaron Williamson said in a statement.

About 20 items were presented as violating the BusyBox licensing terms including Best Buy's Insignia Blu-ray DVD player, Samsung HDTVs and Westinghouse's 52-inch LCD television.

Other companies named in the suit include Western Digital, Robert Bosch, Phoebe Micro, Humax USA, Comtrend, Dobbs-Stanford, Versa Technology, Zyxel Communications, Astak and GCI Technologies.

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Lavenya Dilip was responsible for Marketing at Green Rack Systems.

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