People hoping for a test case for the Gnu Public License (GPL), a common type of license in open source software, will have to wait a little longer.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has settled its lawsuit against networking equipment giant Cisco, so the case won't go to court or establish any kind of legal precedent for the interpretation of the GPL. FSF accused Cisco of distributing networking equipment that utilized
software distributed under the GPL without offering the programs'
source code, as required by the license.
Many observers had
hoped that the case would go to trial and elicit a judicial opinion on
the enforceability of the GPL, much as a recent case, Jacobsen v. Katzer, did before the Federal Circuit for the open source Artistic License.
case was widely considered a win for the open source community, since
it interpreted the violations under the law of copyright, instead of
under contract law. This opened up the possibility of injunctive
relief for violations of the license, instead of limiting relief to
what is available under contract law.
Instead of legal precedent, however, the FSF will get a donation from
Cisco, and the tech company agreed to establish a position dedicated to
ensuring compliance with the GPL.