Vizio demands dismissal of SmartCast GPL violation case

Gnome sued

A few weeks ago we shared here on the blog the news about the lawsuit by the Freedom Conservancy Software (SFC) has filed a lawsuit against the company Vice, Together with non-compliance with GPL requirements to distribute firmware to the SmartCast platform based on smart TVs.

Now, more recent information has been released and released by the human rights organization Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) on the course of the litigation with Vizio related to the breach.

For its part, Vizio has not expressed a desire to remove the GPL violation, did not negotiate to resolve the issues identified and did not try to prove that the charges were incorrect and that the modified GPL code is not used in the firmware. Instead, Vizio sent a request to a higher court to stay the proceedings on the pretext that consumers are not beneficiaries and have no right to make such claims.

Related article:
The Software Freedom Conservancy sued Vizio for the SmartCast platform

The lawsuit against Vizio is notable because it was not filed on behalf of the development participant who owns the proprietary rights to the code, but on behalf of the consumer to whom the source code for the components distributed under the GPL license was not provided.

According to Vizio, copyright law, only code property rights holders have the authority to file claims for license infringement and consumers cannot sue the source code even if the manufacturer ignores the licensing requirements for that code. The requirement to dismiss the case is directed to the Vizio US Superior Federal Court without attempting to resolve the issue in the California State Court, which was originally sent to claim the Software Freedom Conservancy.

The lawsuit against Vizio was filed after three years of peaceful enforcement of the GPL. The Vizio Smart TV firmware revealed GPL packages like Linux kernel, U-Boot, Bash, gawk, GNU tar, glibc, FFmpeg, Bluez, BusyBox, Coreutils, glib, dnsmasq, DirectFB, libgcrypt, and systemd, but the company It did not provide the ability for the user to request the source codes for the GPL components of the firmware, and in the information materials it did not mention the use of copyleft software and the rights provided by these licenses.

The lawsuit did not provide for the payment of monetary compensation, the SFC organization only asked the court to force the company to comply with the terms of the GPL on its products and to inform consumers about the rights granted by copyleft licenses.

In order to preserve the freedom of the software, using the code under copyleft licenses in its products, the manufacturer is obliged to provide the source texts, including the code of derivative works and installation instructions. Without such actions, the user loses control over the software, cannot independently fix bugs, add new features, and remove unnecessary features. Changes may be required to protect your privacy, resolve internal issues that the manufacturer refuses to fix, and extend the life of a device after its official support or artificial obsolescence to stimulate the purchase of a new model.

Finally, It is worth mentioning that a review of the dispute between SFC and Vizio was carried out is available through the eyes of the attorney Kyle E. Mitchell, who believes that the SFC claim treats Vizio's actions as breach of contract under contract law rather than property applicable to breach of licenses. But a contractual relationship can only be between the developer and Vizio, and third parties, such as SFC, cannot be beneficiaries, since they do not belong to any of the parties to the contract and, consequently, they have no right to sue for breach of contract, if the case does not concern lost profits due to the violation of a contract with a third party.

Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the details in the following link.


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