German court raps D-Link over GPL violation

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German court raps D-Link over GPL violation

A German court has rapped D-Link for misuse of the Linux operating system.

A German court has rapped D-Link for misuse of the Linux operating system. 

The company's incorporation of Linux in its DSM-G600 networked attached storage device was ruled to have violated the terms of the General Public Licence (GPL).

D-Link has agreed to stop distributing the product following a complaint by the GPL-Violations Project, but has refused to reimburse the project for its legal and research costs. 

GPL-Violations leader Harald Welte claimed that D-Link has described the GPL as not legally binding.

"It was very sad to see D-Link starting to argue that the GPL would not apply," Welte said in an emailed statement.

"Given D-Link's repeated licence violations, it can be thankful that we have never asked for any kind of damages, but merely to cease and desist from further infringements, plus our expenses."

The district court of Frankfurt ordered D-Link on 6 September to pay €300 in damages.

Welte stressed that, despite the moderate sum, the case marks a "clear-cut victory" because it confirms the validity of the GPL under German law and establishes that D-Link violated its terms.

D-Link did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

GPL-Violations is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to enforce the terms of the GPL when open source code is used by commercial vendors.

The group has uncovered over 100 GPL violations in the past two and a half years. Most cases have been settled out of court.
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