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Reply #31: Diebold faces GPL infringement lawsuit over voting machines [View All]

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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. Diebold faces GPL infringement lawsuit over voting machines
My note: This is rich. Apparently they have been using open-source software in their proprietary software, and not abiding by the terms of the license.

Artifex Software, the company behind the open source Ghostscript PDF processing software, has filed a lawsuit against voting machine vendor Diebold and its subsidiary Premier Election Solutions. Artifex says that Diebold violated the GPL by incorporating Ghostscript into commercial electronic voting machine systems.

Ghostscript, which was originally developed in the late 80s, is distributed for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This license permits developers to study, modify, use, and redistribute the software but requires that derivatives be made available under the same terms. Companies that want to use Ghostscript in closed-source proprietary software projects can avoid the copyleft requirement by purchasing a commercial license from Artifex. Among commercial Ghostscript users who have purchased licenses from Artifex are some of the biggest names in the printing and technology industries, including HP, IBM, Kodak, Siemens, SGI, and Xerox.

Evidence of Diebold's Ghostscript use first emerged last year when electronic voting machine critic Jim March was conducting analysis of Pima County voting irregularities. He brought a technical question to the Ghostscript mailing list relating to his investigation and mentioned in passing that Diebold's use of Ghostscript could potentially fall afoul of the GPL. This view was shared by Ghostscript developer Ralph Giles, who referred the matter to the Artifex business staff so that it could evaluate the legal implications.

More:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081104-diebold-f...
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