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<html newsdate="2011-12-01">
<version>1</version>
<head>
<title>Verdict in the case of AVM vs. Cybits confirmed the view of FSFE</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Verdict in the case of AVM vs. Cybits confirmed the view of FSFE</h1>
<p> In the dispute between the companies AVM and Cybits the <a
href="https://download.fsfe.org/legal/documents/lg-urteil-20111118.pdf">written reasoning for the decision
of the Regional Court of Berlin (PDF, German)</a> is now available. The court
confirmed FSFE's view that users of GNU GPLed software are allowed to modify
and install it even if it is shipped as a part of an embedded device's
firmware. </p>
<p>The court has particularly denied that Cybits has infringed AVM's copyright
by distributing its <q>Surf-Sitter DSL</q> software. According to the judge the
AVM DSL router's firmware is a collective work. The GNU General Public License
(GNU GPL) clearly states that the GPL parts contained in the firmware can be
lawfully modified and reproduced. Thus it is acceptable that these parts are
downloaded from AVM and edited during the installation of the Surf-Sitter
software. </p>
<p>The trademark claims were also rejected. The fact that in the router's
interface the trademark <q>Fritz!Box</q> is still visible after the
installation of Surf-Sitter does not constitute an infringement. </p>
<p>It also unfolds from the reasoning that a modification of the GNU GPLed
parts of the firmware does not trigger any competition claims. The Regional
Court therefore confirms that it is in general permissible to modify firmware
parts under the GNU GPL and to newly install these modified versions. </p>
<p>The granting part of the verdict which parallels last year's judgment of the
Superior Court of Justice is mainly based on the idea that the customers impute
wrongly displayed information about the internet connection and the status of
the parental control to AVM. Cybits must remove this misinformation if they
wish to sell their product. In contrast, modifications of the firmware as such
are allowed. </p>
<p>The verdict is not yet final. The parties can still appeal the decision.
</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="/activities/avm-gpl-violation/avm-gpl-violation.html">Detailed background
information</a></li>
<li>Previous news on this case:</li>
<ul>
<li>2011-06-20 - <a href="/news/2011/news-20110620-01.html">AVM violating
license of the Linux kernel</a></li>
<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>
</ul>
<li><a href="https://lwn.net/Articles/465070/">LWN article: "ELCE11: Till Jaeger on AVM vs. Cybits"</a></li>
<li>2011-11-10 - <a href="/news/2011/news-20111110-01.html">Court rejects
AVM's claims opposing third party modifications of GPL software</a></li>
</ul>
</body>
<tags>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="gpl"/>
<tag key="de"/>
<tag key="avm"/>
<tag key="compliance"/>
<tag key="legal"/>
<tag key="de"/>
</tags>
<translator>Martin Gollowitzer and Philipp Kammerer</translator>
</html>
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