Cisco versus the Free World

No, not this free world.  🙂

There has been plenty of discussion regarding the Free Software Foundation’s recent lawsuit against Cisco.  I had previously thought it was a non-issue until I closely read their blog post.

Back in 2003, we learned that the Linksys WRT54G, a popular wireless router, used a GNU/Linux system in its firmware, but customers weren’t receiving all the source code they were entitled to under our licenses.

I remember this.  DD-WRT, Tomato and OpenWRT all started because of this, if I am correct.

While we were working on that case, though, new reports came in. Other Cisco products were not in full compliance either. We started talking to the company about those as well—and that’s how a five-years-running game of Whack-a-Mole began. New issues were regularly discovered before we could finish addressing the old ones.

This is new.  I thought they had decided to be 100% compliant with the license.  As mentioned in the post, finding their “source code” link is trivially easy.

We asked them to notify customers about previous violations and inform them about how they can now obtain complete source code; they have refused to do this, along with the other reasonable demands we have made to consider this case settled.

To err is human, right?  I’m assuming that a banner on the Linksys site would be sufficient regarding this, or even a press release that many would gloss over or ignore.

Since the initial revelation of Linksys’ (and then Cisco’s) use of Free Software in their products, I’ve been impressed.  Especially when I thought that they were complying fully with the demands of the license.  I am more than a little disappointed in their stance in this and will not give them any of my money until this is resolved.

Which puts a slight cramp in my plans because I was planning on picking up a WRT310N to replace my Airport Express.  And flash it immediately, of course.  🙂

~ by praetor on December 12, 2008.

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