After the huge exit by Waze comes the big lawsuit. An accountant, Roy Gorodish, who participated in the mapping project of Israel alleges that Waze founder Ehud Shabtai built the company on the basis of the free Roadmap software that was developed as part of the Freemap Israel project, a community project to map the country, effectively robbing from the community its right to profit from the $1 billion sale of Waze to Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG).
Today, Gorodish filed a NIS 500 million lawsuit against Waze, and asked the court to recognize it as a class-action suit. Waze, Shabtai and other co-founders - Amir Shinar, Gili Shinar, and Uri Levine - are listed as respondents. Gorodish claims that $64 million - half the value of Waze's intellectual property at the time of the sale - of the sale proceeds should go to the community members who created the map and software that underpin Waze.
Gorodish also claims that the software code of Freemap and Waze should be open code and available to anyone who wants to use it as they see fit, as the community that created it said that they intended in advance.
Gorodish claims that Shabtai was a founding member of the community that created the Freemap project, and that he subsequently took the software to found Waze.
Waze spokesman said in response, "We have not yet received the statement of claim. If and when it arrives, we'll study it and respond accordingly."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 27, 2014
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