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French court backs the GPL

by on04 March 2024

Orange in a jam

French phone firm Orange has been ordered to pay up for ripping off the open saucy software of Entr'ouvert, a small French publisher.

The Court of Appeal of Paris said on February 14, 2024, that Orange had broken the copyright of Entr'ouvert's Lasso software and ignored the GPL.

They told Orange to cough up €500,000 in damages and €150,000 for hurting Entr'ouvert's reputation.

This case has been dragging on for years. Entr'ouvert makes Lasso, an open sauce software that helps online services check users' identities and lets them log in once. The Lasso software can be used for free under GPL or paid for under commercial licenses.

In 2005, Orange got a deal with the French government to make parts of the website, which lets users do things online with the government. Orange used the Lasso software on the website but did not give back the rights to its changes under GPL or show the code for its changes.

Entr'ouvert took Orange to court in 2010, and the case went through many twists and turns, depending on, among other things, issues of proof of Entr'ouvert's copyright in the software and whether the case was about breaking a contract or stealing a copyright...

The damages were based on both the money Entr'ouvert lost and the money Orange made. The €150,000 was for the harm to Entr'ouvert's name or other non-money injury.


Last modified on 04 March 2024
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