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17 August 2009, 16:25

GPL possibly violated by satellite receivers

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A Danish Linux developer intends to take legal action against ViaSat, a provider of satellite receivers. Rasmus Rohde, who has himself contributed some patches to the Linux kernel, has discovered that the Samsung DSB-H670N receiver sold by ViaSat has Kernel 2.6.12 and BusyBox utilities on board, although the company doesn't say that the equipment contains GPL/LGPL code. Nor does ViaSat provide the source code anywhere for downloading, as required by the GPL.

Rohde says he took this up with NDS, the company behind the encryption software used in the receivers, but encountered only silence from ViaSat, so now sees no alternative to taking legal action against them for copyright infringement. He is being represented by Bender von Haller Dragsted, a law firm specializing in IT law. Rohde says two other Danish firms, Stofa and Yousee, are also selling equipment incorporating GPL software without providing the corresponding source code.


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