Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Palm | webOS Nation

Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Palm

by Jason Robitaille Fri, 04 Dec 2009 9:20 pm EST

Isn't this a great way to end the week? Fresh off the press came this BusinessWire lawsuit announcement by Artifex Software.

Artifex Software Inc. today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Palm, Inc., based on Palm’s unauthorized copying and distribution of one of Artifex’s registered technologies. Artifex is the developer and copyright owner of muPDF, a high-performance PDF rendering engine. Artifex is well-known as the developer of the Ghostscript family of interpreters. muPDF is Artifex’s lightweight PDF interpreter targeted at the PDA and ebook markets. Palm improperly integrated muPDF in the Palm Pre’s “PDF viewer” application without Artifex’s authorization. Palm’s unauthorized copying of Artifex’s copyrighted muPDF is widespread, as Palm has included “PDF viewer” in every Palm Pre unit shipped since the product’s launch in June 2009. [...]

Palm’s own documentation admits including Artifex’s muPDF in Palm’s Pre product as the PDF rendering engine in their PDF viewer application, but Palm neither obtained a commercial license from Artifex nor complied with the terms of the GPL. Palm’s intentional refusal to comply with the terms of the GPL means that Palm willfully copied and distributed muPDF without authorization, and any and all such copies infringe Artifex’s exclusive copyright.

The documentation Artifex is referring to, is this open source information pdf, the same one included on every webOS device, which described their usage of muPDF as under GNU GPL.  Palm's open source website includes downloads of the muPDF source, as well as a collection of the modifications Palm has made to is, as part of the GPL compliance.

However it would appear, according to to Artifex, the license requires the application must be licensed under the GNU GPL. This would seem to imply that Palm would need to make the whole pdf browser plugin, and probably the whole pdf viewer application as GPL opensource.

Let's just hope this all gets sorted out quick.

Thanks to Abyssul for the tip