Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Software licensed under the GPL open source license is considered to be Free Software but that doesn't mean it's free as in beer and that developers don't have rights. As four cases in point in 2007, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed legal suits against four different defendants for alleged copyright infringement of the BusyBox's GPL licensed code.
BusyBox is a collection of UNIX utilities that have been optimized for size and are most commonly used in embedded environments. BusyBox is licensed under the GPL which is a reciprocal license and requires that users make the source code available to end users.
Will your company be next to get a call from the SFLC lawyers? Do you know if you're using GPL licensed code in your organization properly?
Experts note that there are a number of different things that organization can do to protect themselves and to ensure that they are in compliance with the GPL. There are also a few steps that organizations should take if the SFLC or someone else alleges that you're in violation of the GPL.