BusyBox has been busy. With the help of the Software Freedom Law Center, it recently sued Verizon for infringing the GNU General Public License (GPL). This marks a distinct shift in strategy for Eben Moglen, the SFLC's counsel, as Pamela at Groklaw notes:
Remember how Eben Moglen used to say that negotiations were the best solution years ago, because the GPL was new and funds were limited? And then when he went to the Software Freedom Law Center he said he'd be in a position to do more? I think he told us the truth.
For the record, I like the conciliatory approach. As a lawyer by training, I heartily dislike the use of the law as a club. Occasionally it is needful to right wrongs against the otherwise weak and defenseless, but I'm not sure this is the case with BusyBox. I don't remember Erik Anderson (primary developer behind BusyBox) being particularly litigious when we worked together at Lineo back in 2000, but something seems to have changed.
Maybe he got fed up with people free-riding on open-source software, using it without abiding by its license terms. This certainly seems to be the case with Eben, who let loose on Tim O'Reilly at last year's OSCON for not being enough of a friend to free software.… Read more