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First US GPL lawsuit settled out of court

HavaJust a few days after open-source developers took Monsoon Multimedia to court over alleged copyright violations, Monsoon has admitted guilt and has begun negotiating a settlement.

What makes this interesting is that the copyright Monsoon Multimedia violated was technology protected by the General Public License or GPL. In other words, Monsoon had every right to use the open source technology. What they were not allowed to do was release a closed source product based on the open source technology.

Monsoon makes the Hava place-shifting box, which lets you stream audio and video content from your TV/cable box/DVD player etc to any internet connected PC. It works much the same way as a Slingbox.

The company used a modified version of the BusyBox software in its Hava software. As part of the settlement, Monsoon will make that code available on its website soon. This was the first copyright case that had gone to court involving the GPL license. Since the case is being settled out of court, the question of whether all the provisions in the GPL are enforceable will have to wait for another day.

Tags: busybox, gpl, hava, monsoon-multimedia, news, opensource, slingbox