Lawsuit against Waze for copyright misappropriation seeks class action status

A motion seeking class action certification was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court, in a lawsuit against Waze Mobile Ltd., the company that operates the popular navigation service, as well as its founders, and Acrum (a subsidiary of Google that recently acquired Waze). The plaintiff, Roey Gorodish, is requesting that he be recognized as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which seeks to recover damages in the amount of 220 million NIS (approximately 63 million US Dollars). In his motion, Gorodish claims that Waze violated its commitment that the software underlying the popular navigation service as well as the associated maps and other information collected, would remain open to users, in a manner that would make the source code, the maps and data layers, accessible in accordance with the GNU General Public License (GPL). In addition, Gorodish alleges that by selling the company to Acrum, copyrights and other intellectual property rights were misappropriated from the Freemap project, while also infringing moral rights. The court was also asked to appoint an expert to examine the source code of the Google Maps application, to determine whether it includes components of the same open source code, so that any court decision in these proceedings would also be binding in respect of this application. Gorodish further claims that while negotiations for the sale of Waze to Google were underway, Waze did not inform the Internet search giant that the software and maps were based on the free software Roadmap and the Freemap community project. Source: TheMarker (In Hebrew, by: Shelly Appelberg).