Courthouse News Service
Courthouse News Service

Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, September 17, 2008Last Update: 1:05:25 PM

Reuters Says George Mason University
Is Handing Out Its Proprietary Software

     RICHMOND, VA. (CN) - Thomson Reuters demands $10 million and an injunction to stop George Mason University from distributing its new Web browser application, Zotero software, an open-source format that allows users to convert Reuters' EndNote Software. Reuters claims George Mason is violating its license agreement and destroying the EndNote customer base.
     Thomson Reuters also sued the Commonwealth of Virginia, in Richmond City Court. George Mason, founded in 1972, is a state institution.
     Reuters says its EndNote Software "allows end users to search online bibliographic databases, organize their references, images, and .pdfs in any language, and instantly create bibliographic reference style files and figure lists in Thomson's proprietary .ens style format for over 3,500 journals and publications."
     The complaint states, "Dr. Daniel J. Cohen, Associate Professor, Department of History and Art History, and the director of GMU's Center for History and New media, developed Zotero, which is a freely distributable, open-source software based research tool that allows users to gather, organize and analyze sources, including citations, and freely share the results with others."
     The Center for History and New Media release "a new beta version of Zotero to the general public" on July 8. Reuters adds, "A significant and highly touted feature of the new beta version of Zotero, however, is its ability to convert - in direct violation of the License Agreement - Thomson's 3,500 plus proprietary .ens style files within the EndNote Software into free, open source, easily distributable Zotero .csl files."
     It claims GMU reverse engineered Reuters' EndNote software to create Zotero.
     Reuters is represented by Gary Noyes of Tysons Corner.