Linux law group sues Verizon over GPL violation

The Software Freedom Law Center alleges that the telco has violated the terms of the open source General Public License

The Software Freedom Law Center has filed a lawsuit against telco Verizon, alleging that it has violated the terms of the General Public Licence, which governs the use of free and open source software products.

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) was established to provide legal representation to protect open source software.

The suit is the fourth that the SFLC has filed on behalf of two programmers who wrote BusyBox, a software utility package covered by the GPL. BusyBox is typically embedded in hardware devices that use the Linux operating system.

Its actions against Verizon reflect the more aggressive stance that the SFLC has taken this year.

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The subject of the suit is a wireless router that Verizon distributes to customers of its fibre-based broadband service in the US, which uses the BusyBox software.

Under the terms of the GPL, Verizon has to make the source code available to users of the device, according to the suit.

The first suit alleging misuse of the BusyBox software, which the SFLC filed in September of this year, was settled quickly. The SFLC also sued Xterasys and High-Gain Antennas in November concerning the same product.