Expect a settlement in Monsoon GPL suit

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Those who expected a quick settlement win just what folks won on Iron Chef, namely the people's ovation and fame forever.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Those who expected a quick settlement win just what folks won on Iron Chef, namely the people's ovation and fame forever. Monsoon Multimedia, by the way, is based in Noida, India, near Delhi.

What Does HAVA do? from Myhava.com

Despite an immense excitement over the filing of a GPL violations suit against Monsoon Multimedia, makers of the Hava media player, expect a settlement fairly soon.

I was sent a link to a Hava support thread on the issue, which was still online at this writing. The thread makes it clear that the facts of the case are on the side of GPL advocates, and that many people are checking the tools they get, looking for GPL violations.

The most recent note on the thread, posted just yesterday by GaryMM in MyHava support, reads:

Don't worry kids, we're taking care of it. It is all matter of course for such things, there is no conspiracy involved. I have said it before and will say it again, we have every intention of complying with the terms of GPL. This has been raised to the highest levels within the company and we are following through. Not being a lawyer, I am going to refrain from any more detailed comment.

That doesn't read like a company spoiling for a fight, or in much of a legal position to win one.

The Software Freedom Law Center, which announced the suit on Thursday and included a PDF link to the full complaint, may be reluctant to press hard for more than a release of the code, given the recent San Francisco federal court case which limited relief.

Does Monsoon want to fight a public relations battle against open source users and a lawsuit against open source advocates, alongside a market battle with Slingbox in which its own market share is low? From here that's doubtful.

But does the SFLC want to test the full validity of the GPL in a New York federal court where it might not get a better outcome? That's the remaining open question, and it will cost a lot of money to get an answer.

My guess is they'd rather take a win, send out a crowing press release next week, then use that result against the next violator.  [poll id=51]

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