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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Irony: Free Software Group Sues Cisco

MANHATTAN (CN) - The Free Software Foundation sued Cisco Systems for copyright infringement, alleging that Cisco is selling various "Linksys" products, in violation of the Free Software Foundation's terms of use of its freely distributed programs.

The Free Software Foundation says it has multiple patents for software that it distributes for free, so long as the users abide by Free Software's own practice of making the source code visible to users, who are free to improve it if they can.

The Free Software Foundation cites eight patents it holds, all for GNU systems, such as GNU Debugger, GNU Coreutils and GNU Compiler Collection.

It claims Cisco "via its Linksys division, makes and sells various communications devices and hardware (the 'Infringing Products') that contain embedded executable software (the 'Firmware')."

Free Software claims Cisco violates copyright by selling and distributing its patented programs in Linksys programs, "without providing complete and correspondence source code or an offer for source code as required by the licenses."

The Free Software Foundation demands an injunction, disgorgement and damages. It is represented by Daniel Ravicher with the Software Freedom Law Center.

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