[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Jun 22 14:46:28 CEST 2011

= FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer =

[Online under http://fsfe.org/news/2011/news-20110622-01.en.html ]

Berlin, 22. June 2011 - Yesterday in Berlin a court hearing took place
in a case that could set a crucial precedent for the embedded industry
(reported at [3]). In the lawsuit between AVM and Cybits, AVM maintained
that others should not be allowed to modify Free Software on computers
bought from AVM, such as the widely used Fritz!Box. At the heart of the
debate is the Linux kernel, distributed under the GNU GPL which
guarantees exactly this freedom to users.  Free Software Foundation
Europe (FSFE) and gpl-violations.org today published a detailed report
about the hearing.

"Users have the right to decide for themselves which software they want
to run on their computers. If AVM, or any other company, does not want
to adhere to the GNU General Public License, they should not use
GPL-licensed software," says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's Germany

"AVM wants to keep and extend its monopolistic power over those devices,
even after they have been sold. Not only does this conflict with the GNU
GPL license of the Linux kernel, it is also anti-competitive," says
Harald Welte, Linux kernel contributor and founder of gpl-violations.org

The court made no decision during yesterday's hearing. The participants
may file further written pleadings. The court may then either rule
directly, or begin hearing evidence. FSFE and gpl-violations.org will
continue to monitor the case and defend the freedom of software users.

 1. Detailed report about the hearing from June 21st

 2. Harald Welte's blog article concentrating on technical aspects

 3. 2011-06-20: Press Release: "AVM violating license of the Linux
 kernel" http://fsfe.org/news/2011/news-20110620-01.en.html

== Press contacts ==

  Matthias Kirschner <mk at fsfe.org>, Free Software Foundation Europe
  Linienstraße 141, 10115 Berlin
  Phone: +49-30-275 95 290 Mobile:  +49-1577-178 000 3

== gpl-violations.org ==

  The gpl-violations.org project is taking legal and other means to make
  sure commercial users of Free Software are adhering to the GNU General
  Public License.  gpl-violations.org has enforced the GNU GPL in
  hundreds of cases, most of them amicably and out of court.  However,
  if necessary, legal means such as warning notices, preliminary
  injunctions and civil copyright lawsuits are used in order to ensure
  companies are following-up with their obligations under the GNU GPL.
  gpl-violations.org was started by Free Software developer Harald
  Welte, who has received multiple awards in recognition of his legal
  efforts on enforcing the GNU GPL.

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.


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