English Translation of D-Link Decision Released

In response to numerous requests, I have obtained an English language translation of the decision in the open source software case brought against network equipment provider D-Link in district court in Frankfurt, Germany.

As I noted in my previous post on this case, Herald Welte and GPL-Violations.org brought the case against D-Link accusing it of distributing certain files included in the Linux kernel in violation of the General Public License (GPL). The court in the case ruled against D-Link. In its decision the court specifically rejected arguments by D-Link that the GPL does not form a legally binding license under German law. While this decision is not binding on US courts, and while several of the arguments made by the parties in the case deal with areas of German law that do not have a direct parallel under US law, the decision is still significant in that the grounding for the holding of the court adopts many of the same arguments that have been made by experts here in the US in favor of the enforceability of the GPL under US law.

While the translation is a bit rough in spots, it contains a detailed discussion of the arguments made by the parties. It is certainly worth your review if you or any of your clients have an interest in the enforceability of the GPL or the use of software licensed under the GPL, whether in Germany, the US, or elsewhere.

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