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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2011-11-07">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Court rejects AVM´s claims opposing third party modifications of GPL software</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Court rejects AVM´s claims opposing third party modifications of GPL software</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">On November 8th the Regional Court of Berlin [Landgericht
  9. Berlin] issued its decision in the previously reported case AVM Computersysteme
  10. Vertriebs GmbH (AVM) v. Cybits AG (Cybits). In this case, AVM was essentially
  11. trying to stop Cybits from modifying GNU GPL licensed Free Software inside of
  12. their AVM Fritz!Box products. Yesterday, the court dismissed this principal
  13. claim. Thus, it also confirmed that users of embedded devices with
  14. pre-installed Free Software have the legal freedom to make, install, run and
  15. distribute modifications to this Free Software. The Free Software Foundation
  16. Europe (FSFE) and gpl-violations.org, both welcome this decision.</p>
  17. <p>Although the written reasoning of the decision is not available yet, it is
  18. clear that the court rejected AVM's claims according to which no third party
  19. shall be permitted to alter their products' firmware, even if the GNU GPL
  20. components are concerned. Thus, Cybits or anyone else may perform such
  21. modifications. Furthermore, under the judgement, Cybits is not prohibited from
  22. distributing its software that assists users in making and installing
  23. modifications to GNU GPL licensed software (Linux kernel used in the Fritz!Box
  24. device).</p>
  25. <p>"I am extremely pleased that the court turned down any request by AVM to
  26. control any modification to the GNU GPL licensed components of the Fritz!Box
  27. firmware. Enabling and encouraging everyone to innovate based on existing
  28. software and products is a key aspect of the Free Software movement.", says
  29. Harald Welte, founder of gpl-violations.org and third party intervener on
  30. behalf of Cybits in the dispute.</p>
  31. <p>On the other hand, the court upheld an auxiliary claim raised by AVM. In its
  32. ruling, it enjoins Cybits from distributing the software only in case it causes
  33. the web interface to display a wrong status of the internet connection and web
  34. filtering software. "But this is a side issue, the important part is: Free
  35. Software gives everybody the right to use, study, share, and improve it. Nobody
  36. should be allowed to prevent others from executing those rights", says Matthias
  37. Kirschner, FSFE's German coordinator.</p>
  38. <p>The decision can be appealed by either party within one month.</p>
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  42. <p>FSFE and gpl-violations.org are committed to encouraging the use of Free
  43. Software by companies and developers by making licensing and compliance as easy
  44. as possible. Generally it is considerably easier to comply with Free Software
  45. licenses than with EULAs and other license agreements for non-Free software.
  46. Often it is only necessary to add a copy of the GNU GPL license text to
  47. documentation, and add an offer to provide the software source code (see
  48. <a href="/activities/ftf/useful-tips-for-vendors.html">FSFE's compliance tips</a>).</p>
  49. <ul>
  50. <li><a href="/activities/ftf/avm-gpl-violation.html">Detailed background information</a></li>
  51. <li>Previous news on this case:</li>
  52. <ul>
  53. <li>2011-06-20 - <a href="/news/2011/news-20110620-01.html">AVM violating license of the Linux kernel</a></li>
  54. <li>2011-06-22 - <a href="/news/2011/news-20110622-01.html">FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer</a></li>
  55. </ul>
  56. <li><a href="https://lwn.net/Articles/465070/">LWN article: "ELCE11: Till Jaeger on AVM vs. Cybits"</a></li>
  57. </ul>
  58. </body>
  59. <tags>
  60. <tag>front-page</tag>
  61. <tag>gpl</tag>
  62. <tag>AVM</tag><tag>Compliance</tag><tag>Ruling</tag><tag>de</tag>
  63. </tags>
  64. </html>
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