Stockfish Contributors Sue ChessBase for GPL Violations

Stockfish Contributors Sue ChessBase for GPL Violations

Posted by WP Tavern on July 21, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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image credit: Sebastian Voortman A legal reckoning is brewing in the world of open source chess engines. Stockfish, a GPL-licensed chess engine widely recognized as one of the strongest in the world, has filed a lawsuit against ChessBase. The German-based company makes and sells chess software that relies heavily on the Stockfish engine, maintains a prominent chess news site, and runs a chess server for online games. Stockfish’s announcement, published this week on International Chess Day, claims that ChessBase has violated the GPL by not releasing the corresponding modifications of its products that are derivative works: We have come to realize that ChessBase concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products. Indeed, few customers know they obtained a modified version of Stockfish when they paid for Fat Fritz 2 or Houdini 6 – both Stockfish derivatives – and they thus have good reason to be upset. ChessBase repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL, which ensures that the user of the software is informed of their rights. These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify, and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free. In…

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