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GPL Case Against Danish Satellite Provider

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the hey-bub-that's-a-license-you're-sittin'-on dept.

Linux Business 297

Rohde writes "The number of satellite and cable boxes on the Danish market using Linux has significantly increased during the last couple of years. The providers Viasat, Yousee and Stofa all provide HD receivers based on Linux, and all of them fail to provide the source code or make customers aware of the fact that the units are based on GPL licensed software. I decided it was time to fix this situation and luckily the Danish legal company BvHD has decided to take the case. We are starting with Viasat, which distributes a Samsung box including middleware and security from NDS, and you can follow the case here."

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297 comments

Byte the hand that Feeds! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081279)

That's it you floosy Dane ladies! We know your satellites have GPL'd code in them and you have to disclose that code under those assumptions or face...the shunning that only the darkest allies of Sacramento PA have only dreamed.

Re:Byte the hand that Feeds! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081313)

This is why we need a "-1 WTF" option

Positive move? (0, Flamebait)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081285)

This is going to be great for the uptake of Linux, and will really encourage people to use open-source tools instead of rolling their own proprietary black box. Keep up the good work!

Re:Positive move? (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081333)

I'm guessing sarcasm. If it's not, ignore this.

It may actually get media attention to Linux, which is always good. It's definitely not hard for them to provide source either; simply have something in the manual stating "source available at [url]". I don't see why this would be a problem for Linux, at all. If anything, it's free advertisement to communities that normally wouldn't have the first idea about its existence.

Re:Positive move? (5, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081369)

What does the community get out of the fact that YouSee, Stofa, and Viasat use Linux?

All the Danes on Slashdot probably know about Viasat's business practices, which are about as close to fraud as you can get without losing in court, so I don't need to warn anyone against signing contracts with them.

Market share and mindshare (4, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082127)

What does the community get out of the fact that YouSee, Stofa, and Viasat use Linux?

It gets valuable proof that Linux is a serious industrial strength system, making it hard for critics to portray it as a homespun system for hobbyists. Even (especially?) if Joe public hates these firms, businessfolk will respect them.

Market share also means that component manufacturers will have an incentive to support Linux (I doubt these firms make their own chipsets).

The programmers working on these devices will get Linux experience, and put it on their CVs. "5 years Linux experience with major company" reads better (to a suit) than "hack with Linux a bit on my own time".

Perversely, even a well-spun lawsuit might help (it shows that Linux is valuable enough to be worth defending). Especially if the publicity points out how little it will cost the culprits to comply vs. how many millions they would have been liable for had they breached a license for proprietary software, and points to all the other big, ugly firms that comply without going bust (even 800lb gorillas like Apple and IBM manage not to cross the line).

Quite honestly, though, the community still gets the benefit of market share if some of the users fail to comply. Its one of those awkward questions - do you want "four freedoms" and an OS that nobody uses, or "three-and-a-half freedoms" plus a fighting chance of being a major player in a field where the competition offers "minus six freedoms"?

Re:Positive move? (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081511)

``This is going to be great for the uptake of Linux, and will really encourage people to use open-source tools instead of rolling their own proprietary black box. Keep up the good work!''

Rather than ... take the hard work of many hands, without compensating them or abiding by their terms, and using that to make your proprietary black box? Because that's what these companies have done.

The fact that the black box runs open source software means nothing when you don't get your Four Freedoms [gnu.org].

Re:Positive move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081539)

Who cares about these devices using Linux if you're not going to be able to modify them? Might as well be proprietary. On the hand, if Free software is out there and tempts device makers to take advantage of it, despite needing to open up their code and give up some control... well, that was the goal of the GPL. But to achieve that the GPL needs some teeth.

Re:Positive move? (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081633)

And, why, exactly, can you not modify them? Any box I've ever touched had an option to "update firmware". Granted, I haven't touched them all, but I can't imagine one without the option. If your box is using open source, people can build their own firmware - look at all the WRT firmwares available, starting with Tomato, DDWRT, OpenWRT - and there may be more.

A bright individual might roll his own, or not.

Actually - it might be to the ISP's advantage to allow this sort of thing. Some people are going to brick their boxes while tampering with them. Warranty is void, of course, if the box has been tampered with. So, the ISP gets the opportunity to sell another 20 dollar (or Euro, kroner, or whatever they use up there) box for 50 dollars.

Inform people that they have options. I'm all for that.

On the other hand, I wonder if pursuing these sort of actions might not scare vendors away from open source?

Re:Positive move? (4, Informative)

Mozk (844858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081733)

And, why, exactly, can you not modify them?

Because the device only accepts firmware with the proper digital signature? At least, that's how TiVo did it.

Re:Positive move? (3, Informative)

fraktus (632342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081591)

In europe we have a lot of sat receivers built around Linux. I personally use a Dreambox. There are many variations on the distributions with different add ons and themes for interface. My favorite is the Gemini. The ecosystem is very well and alive and is centered around many forums where people exchange their experience

I wonder if this provider uses something based on the Dreambox.

The providers very often don't support using those Linux receiver because they have more options then the locked down proprietary receiver. By example my setup has a rotor so that I can pick many positions and different providers. Another cool thing is that you can stream on your local network the video and see it with VLC on any computer in your home, something that proprietary boxes never allow...

The problem is that there are several Chinese clones because if the software is GPL the hardware is not open sourced.

Re:Positive move? (3, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081975)

If the company picked up the source code for the linux kernel, altered (extensively or not) to their liking, built an OS based on that kernel and started distributing the binaries without any hint it was linux and much less publishing the interfaces and even the source code then how exactly is it any different than "rolling their own proprietary black box" ?

Moreover, if someone picks up a copyrighted work and intentionally breaks the license agreement that made it possible for them to access that copyrighted work to begin with then that person just set him/herself for a lot of legal pain. That is true for any type of copyrighted work, including open source and any flavour of proprietary software. So no, it doesn't affect the uptake of linux, as any copyright dispute involving proprietary software affects the uptake of proprietary.

linux is not freeware (3, Interesting)

Scotch42 (1120577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081307)

at some stage, manufacturers will realize the hidden cost of using GNU/Linux in their embedded platforms... For commodity gadgets and tools, it will not be an issue to share the internals are the hardware will be the added value. But for unique items that should not be the case and therefore some other toolkit with no ogligation to share modifications should be preferred.

And I'm making my living with GNU/Linux tools only ;-)

More often, I see my customers using GNU/Linux because it's without licenses to pay for the final product. But they do not realize theyr obligation to share... And it'is very difficult to educate them.

Does fellows /.ers have similar issue with customer?

Re:linux is not freeware (-1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081345)

You only have the obligation to share source if you distribute, and then only to those you distribute to directly. End-users aren't covered.

I'm suprised more companies don't just put the required notice in some really awkward part of the device. If they put it beneath the heatsink or inside the power supply, only the dissassemblers would even see it and they're likely to hack the device anyway, other customers wouldn't even notice.

Re:linux is not freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081365)

Um, have you considered that they're probably using a vanilla rtlinux setup?

If there's no modification to the linux kernel or assocaited gpled utilities, then there's not much point in getting the source. Configurations, and proprietary software do not need to be shared.

Re:linux is not freeware (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081385)

Everything which you distribute which is GPL licensed puts an obligation on you to distribute the source code.

If I sell a computer with ubuntu installed I have offer ubuntu sources to the customer. Its not good enough that the source could come from canonical.

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Informative)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081433)

Which comes down to just providing them the Ubuntu CD , which most would do anyway.
Unless you really made some changes to the source code , in that case , you also need to provide the source for those changes.

I don't see the problem : if you use GPL , you know this is what you have to do . It's what GPL is all about.

If you don't want to do this , you need another license type. Often , this is a possibility too ( for a modest fee ) . I'm not sure if Ubuntu has it though.

Simply put : GPL favors mainly the end users :

  by ensuring that derative products are also open source , you ensure that a product will stay open source.

However , i doesn't favor developers or companies ( who are forced to share their work for free ) .

Re:linux is not freeware (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081497)

Which comes down to just providing them the Ubuntu CD , which most would do anyway.
Unless you really made some changes to the source code , in that case , you also need to provide the source for those changes.

The ubuntu CD doesn't include source. Under the GPL you have to offer source code for all GPL software you distribute, not just the code you changed.

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081683)

However , i doesn't favor developers or companies ( who are forced to share their work for free ) .

Only if you're deriving your work from other GPLed work. If it's entirely your own work, you're 100% free to keep the code closed-source and/or use whatever license you see fit.

I'm so sick of hearing people crying about how they can build on another's work at no cost, but then have to reciprocate. Either call the friggin whaambulance, or STFU and code it all yourself.

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Insightful)

thebjorn (530874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081747)

...Simply put : GPL favors mainly the end users :

by ensuring that derative products are also open source , you ensure that a product will stay open source.

However , i doesn't favor developers or companies ( who are forced to share their work for free ) .

I'm not a GPL fan at all, but it is a straight-forward non-gratis license. The cost is providing your own source-code. It is up to you to decide if you want to "pay" that "price" -- but you have to pay to play, or else don't play (tertium non datur!). There is nothing different, in this respect, to any commercial license: if I wrote a software library, made it available on my website for download and licensed it for $649, you couldn't legally download it and use it to create your own product without paying me (no pay: no play).

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082077)

However , i doesn't favor developers or companies ( who are forced to share their work for free ) .

The GPL can accelerate software development around a product. I think it was IBM's Linux head who made the point that the GPL is what ensures that IBM, Novell, Sun, Red Hat, etc. all cooperate on the Linux kernel rather than producing proprietary forks, or having to sign individual contracts with each other to license each piece of technology that they each contribute. The GPL simplifies the entire legal process, which in turn speeds up software development, which reduces time to market which ultimately benefits companies selling Linux solutions. Looking at the changelogs for the Linux kernel over the past 18 months it appears that the speed with which new features are added to the kernel is increasing if anything. And this stuff just appears in the kernel tree, completely bypassing the traditional legal process, with the participants having contractual obligations but not having to negotiate any contracts. It's a good system.

To say that the GPL doesn't favour developers or companies is completely wrong. It doesn't favour some developers or companies - the ones that want to take the work of others, modify it, and then sell it without reproducing the source of their modifications. If you look at the profits and market capitalisation of IBM and Red Hat - clearly they have benefited greatly from GPL software.

Re:linux is not freeware (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081571)

You have it absolutely wrong. Your version of the source has to be available to your customers, so if you haven't modified the source in any way then you CAN provide them with the source from canonical.

Re:linux is not freeware (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081757)

You have it absolutely wrong. Your version of the source has to be available to your customers, so if you haven't modified the source in any way then you CAN provide them with the source from canonical.

Okay lets read the license [gnu.org].

b) Convey the object code in, or embodied in, a physical product
        (including a physical distribution medium), accompanied by a
        written offer, valid for at least three years and valid for as
        long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product
        model, to give anyone who possesses the object code either (1) a
        copy of the Corresponding Source for all the software in the
        product that is covered by this License, on a durable physical
        medium customarily used for software interchange, for a price no
        more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this
        conveying of source, or (2) access to copy the
        Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge

.
The problem is that canonical may not provide that version on line for three years. They might be out of business then. So I have to host the source or pay canonical to do it for me.

Re:linux is not freeware (2, Insightful)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 3 years ago | (#29082175)

Ok but you only have to have the source code available, so as long as you keep a copy you can sit back and do nothing while canonical are still in buisness then if they go bust make your copy available. Also notice that you can charge for the copy of the source code to recoup your loses from burning and posting a dvd. Depending on what your distributing how many requests for the source are you realistically going to get espicialy if you havent edited the source yourself theres probably a good chance it would still be available from where ever you got it. If you do have a large number of requests for your source on the other hand from people who have bought your product, well clearly you've been sucessful in selling it to a lot of people so should be able to afford distributing the source.

Re:linux is not freeware (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081995)

Everything which you distribute which is GPL licensed puts an obligation on you to distribute the source code

Not quite correct. For example, I bought a router that includes GPL code. If I sell that router on eBay, I am not obligated to provide source code, even though I am distributing the binary code that is in the router.

Only if your distribution requires permission from the copyright owner do you have worry about distributing source code. When you buy a product that contains copyrighted code, and then simply redistribute that particular copy, you do not need the copyright owner's permission.

Re:linux is not freeware (3, Informative)

nielsm (1616577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081405)

Regardless of what they use, even if it's unmodified software from another source, they are still distributing it. The GPL requires you to do two things if you distribute software covered by it:

  1. Include the complete text of the license
  2. Include a written offer to obtain the complete source code (or include the complete source code, or a location under the distributor's direct control where the user can download the source code)

And then of course GPLv3 adds the requirement that the distributor must provide a way for the user to install and run a different version of the software on the device.

The important part here is that the distributor of the binaries must also distribute the sources, you aren't allowed to just point to another party for that.

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081589)

some other toolkit with no ogligation to share modifications should be preferred.

Perhaps. But I don't actually see this problem a lot...

For example, if they're actually modifying the kernel, they could use whatever trick nVidia uses to get around the GPL and insert binary blobs. But most of the time, they shouldn't need to modify the kernel, or at least, any modifications they do make wouldn't be considered "secret sauce" anyway.

But in most of these cases, it's reasonable to put most of it in userland, and to link only against LGPL stuff, if that -- plenty of BSD and MIT stuff that might be useful.

And I'm making my living with GNU/Linux tools only ;-)

That makes your post particularly disturbing.

Perhaps it wasn't your intent, but you've given the impression that simply using Linux will force everything to be open source, and that's simply not the case.

Re:linux is not freeware (3, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081871)

> For example, if they're actually modifying the kernel, they could use whatever trick nVidia uses to get around the GPL and insert binary blobs

It's not clear that what nVidia do is actually legal, and nVidia have a fairly strong case that it's legal because they have cross-platform code which originated in Windows. This brings a strong case that they aren't derived from the linux kernel.

Re:linux is not freeware (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082069)

for the purposes of the GPL, a combined work is as good as a derivative work.

quoth GPLv2 term 2:

These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
collective works based on the Program.

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License.

My take is that Linus is being a pragmatic fellow and choosing his battles here, even if deep down he suspects that nVidia is violating the letter of the license. These tricks to circumvent it are surely violating the spirit of it.

Re:linux is not freeware (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082153)

> for the purposes of the GPL, a combined work is as good as a derivative work.

Except the GPL relies on derivative works for enforcement, so if it is not legally a derivative work; the GPL has no hold. The GPL applying via the 'shim' only holds when you cannot seperate the other half (the proprietary bit), or replace it with something else; and possibly only then if the seperated half derives enough from the original interface.

Re:linux is not freeware (2, Interesting)

EponymousCustard (1442693) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081645)

Nobody ever mentions Sky+ box (owned by rupert murdoch - probably at least a million of them in the UK) but I'm pretty sure that (1) it is built on linux (2) the community would benefit from some mods they do

Re:linux is not freeware (2, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081885)

"Pretty sure"? Google doesn't agree, in fact I can't find any proof or even discussion of what OS the Sky+ box uses. Under the hood it's an XTV device [nds.com], which runs, according to XTV "IXI-Connect OS(TM)".

'Hidden Cost" my ass... (5, Insightful)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081819)

In point of fact there is _nothing_ "hidden" about the cost of using GPL software in a product.

If you go the Microsoft Wince (I didn't name it 8-) route, you pay many dollars up-front, and some dollars per-unit.

You go GPL you pay nothing up front and pay full disclosure on the back end per unit.

The whole problem is the perception that this is "hidden" in the first place. When the tech people sell the GPL software to their managers they, in their naiveté, usually don't know to make a distinction between free(beer) and free(open).

Once the programmers, and indeed people like you, understand enough to present the cost/benefit analysis as it truly is, then this may stop happening.

Don't even think _hidden_, don't fool yourself or others. It's right there in the language of the GPL plain as day. Just like it's supposed to be. And thats the good thing that separates it from the BSD license which has no cost at all. That is the _whole_ reason to pick one over another as a licensor.

Hence "copyleft" instead of "public domain" etc.

Re:linux is not freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081931)

"Theyr"? I hope your GNU/Linux tools only income isn't in any field relating to spelling or grammar.

Re:linux is not freeware (4, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082025)

I don't think people are going to go back to rolling their own in the embedded market - anyone with any experience in embedded software development will tell you that Linux makes life a hell of a lot easier because all of a sudden a lot of things you would otherwise have to write from scratch are basically included. And it can be a lot of work to port a userland package developed for Linux to something like VxWorks.

Coming at it from another angle, every couple of years there's an article about how even in the Western world, some absurdly large proportion of companies use pirated software. What makes you think that the GPL will make them suddenly compliant?

What I think is more likely is that companies will start to take licensing seriously. For instance, my current employer is careful to architect our design so that anything we don't want to reveal to the world is a pure user-land tool without GPL dependencies. But in auditing our code, we've come across quite a few open-source projects which have borrowed from each other without first checking that their licenses are cross-compatible.

Re:linux is not freeware (5, Insightful)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 3 years ago | (#29082201)

at some stage, manufacturers will realize the hidden cost of using GNU/Linux in their embedded platforms..

what hidden cost?

it couldn't be more fucking obvious what the "cost" of using GPL software is - release the source under the same conditions (GPL) that you got it under.

these companies just want to reap the benefits of GPL software without living up their part part of the bargain.

they are parasites.

ps: you're right. linux is not "freeware". freeware is proprietary garbage that happens to cost nothing. linux is Free Software instead - high quality open source.

Re:linux is not freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29082219)

Actually we had a mail went around our code shop recently that said that GPL stuff was verboten as they didn't want the liability or the unknowns that come with being sued, or customer audits, etc. The detailed a guy to check it out and report back etc. and it's a minefield according to him.

What's his copyright? (2, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081335)

Nowhere does TFA provide information on exactly which part of the GPL code the guy is claiming copyright ownership.

You can't sue for GPL violations if you have no claim of copyright over atleast some part of the GPL licensed product.

Re:What's his copyright? (4, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081375)

In some countries, law firms are allowed to sue on the behalf of copyright owners on their own initiative, much like how you can be brought up on assault charges by the state in some countries even if the person you hit wanted you to do so.

Re:What's his copyright? (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081387)

There is likely to be a few things in there that are copyright the FSF and they would be more than happy to pursue copyright violations.

Re:What's his copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081395)

Hell, he's not even filed in court yet.

Re:What's his copyright? (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081781)

Maybe TFA has been changed?

But if you read the link 'follow the case here' [duff.dk] it clearly states which part of the linux kernel he is claiming copyright on.

He also ask for other copyright holders to join him.

Good Luck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081383)

Hopefully we will see less Danish satellite boxes using Linux.

Linux is a plague that tricks suckers in to throwing away their business and intellectual property.

The sooner people learn that Linux and the GPL is a cancer, the better off we will all be.

Re:Good Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081551)

Linux is a plague that tricks suckers in to throwing away their business and intellectual property.

newsflash... it isn't their intellectual property to start with.

many companies make perfectly good business giving away software and selling hardware.

1990 called and it ... oh whatever...

Re:Good Luck (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081703)

Hopefully we will see less Danish satellite boxes using Linux.

Linux is a plague that tricks suckers in to throwing away their business and intellectual property.

The sooner people learn that Linux and the GPL is a cancer, the better off we will all be.

Given your busy schedule, Mr. Ballmer - it's good to know you have time to read Slashdot!

Huh (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081399)

So if sell someone a box with a linux distribution installed on it do I need to print out all of that distribution's source code and ship it with the computer as well? If I make software that runs on a linux distribution and set linux to run that software at boot-up does that mean I'm really altering linux itself?

If I pay a lawyer enough money will they always take my case?

Re:Huh (1)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081423)

So if sell someone a box with a linux distribution installed on it do I need to print out all of that distribution's source code and ship it with the computer as well?

No, you don't have to print it all out. Including a download link to the source code somewhere in the documentation is definately good enough.

If I make software that runs on a linux distribution and set linux to run that software at boot-up does that mean I'm really altering linux itself?

It doesn't matter. Does your software link against any GPL'ed software? If yes, you need to make the source to your changes available.

Re:Huh (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081965)

Including a download link to the source code somewhere in the documentation is definately good enough.

If you're distributing a box with Linux on it you can't expect the person who recieves it to have access to the internet to be able to download the source. You have to provide a written offer, valid for three years, to provide the source code if requested for reasonable distribution costs.

Re:Huh (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081425)

So if sell someone a box with a linux distribution installed on it do I need to print out all of that distribution's source code and ship it with the computer as well?

No.

Any bits of it you modified, you have to provide those modifications as source, but only to the people you gave the binary to.
There can even be a fee for delivering the source (But not one greater than the cost of the binary the source is for, or something similar but not exactly that. Consult the GPL if that is an actual concern.)
Typically a link on a webpage, or an attachment by email reply, is fine. Generally the first option will be more convenient for you if you have anything but a very tiny customer base.

If you modified nothing, then the extent of your responsibility to redistribute is only to ensure the copyright notice stays intact. If you *really* modified nothing, this part is already done for you.

If I make software that runs on a linux distribution and set linux to run that software at boot-up does that mean I'm really altering linux itself?

Nope. Goto 10 and reapply, specifically the 'if you *really* modified nothing' part.

If I pay a lawyer enough money will they always take my case?

Yup! That's about the only thing this article shows us.

Re:Huh (1, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081521)

Any bits of it you modified, you have to provide those modifications as source

You have to offer to supply the source for all GPL software, not just your changes.

Re:Huh (3, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081437)

So if sell someone a box with a linux distribution installed on it do I need to print out all of that distribution's source code and ship it with the computer as well? If I make software that runs on a linux distribution and set linux to run that software at boot-up does that mean I'm really altering linux itself?

If you sell somebody a box with linux on it you need to at the minimum include a statement in the user manual which more or less says "This box has some GPL licensed software installed on it. You can obtain the source-code from the following website and you are free to modify it under certain conditions. Please see the complete license for more details."

Alternatively you can include a CD with the source code, or load the source code into the box's harddrive ( provided it is readily retrievable ). Basically you just need to make the customer aware you use GPL software on the box and tell them how to obtain the source code from you. There's various ways to do that but the easiest is probably to either include the source on a CD or to upload it to your website and tell the customer they can retrieve it from there. The main problem with the latter approach is that the GPL requires you to keep the source available for some years (can't remember how many ) and thus you may find it easier to just give the user a CD with the source code since you are then not obliged to keep a server running.

Re:Huh (3, Informative)

49152 (690909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081769)

Not exactly correct

You only need to provide source code when ASKED for it. There is no requirement in the GPL to pro-actively distribute the source code along with the binaries nor that they must be available for download on the Internet. The good old CD in the mail system is fine. You might even charge for CD and postage.

However, if you do not include source code in the distribution then you need to provide a written offer valid for at least three years to provide anyone who possesses the object code a copy of the corresponding source code.

The reason most compliant companies chose to either include the source or just put it on their corporate web page is because this is easier in the first place than to handle potentially thousands of letters asking for the source later.

Re:Huh (1, Offtopic)

49152 (690909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081799)

Must be something wrong with my reading comprehension today. I now see you start your post with suggesting a written offer in the user manual. Which would be more than good enough to stay GPL compliant.

Sorry for the noise.

Re:Huh (2, Informative)

slash.duncan (1103465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081751)

So if sell someone a box with a linux distribution installed on it do I need to print out all of that distribution's source code and ship it with the computer as well?

You don't need to print it out. In fact, that would be discouraged and may not meet the requirements of being in a customary format (too lazy to go look up the specific GPL wording ATM, but electronic format would be encouraged, dead tree format discouraged as it has to be converted back to electronic format for use), today. You do, however, need to make the sources available -- and no, pointing at upstream doesn't suffice, except "in the trivial case". (Again, I'm not going to go look up the details, but the idea is that individual users can share say Ubuntu and point to Ubuntu for sources, but commercial distributors and the like must make them available themselves.)

With GPLv2 (which the Linux kernel uses), you have two choices. If you provide sources at the time of purchase, say, throwing in a CD/DVD with the sources on it, you're covered, and don't have to worry about it when you quit distributing the binaries. Similarly with a download, if you provide the binaries and an archive with the sources at the same time, you're fine. Similarly if you distribute disks at a FLOSS convention or the like. Have a stack of disks with the binaries and another with the sources (or a computer with a burner setup to burn a disk of the sources on demand, assuming there'll be less demand for that than the binaries).

Alternative two is to include a notice /with/ the software offering the sources for no more than a limited handling fee, to cover the costs of providing them (and this cost may be audited if you decide it's several hundred or thousand dollars...). *HOWEVER*, if you do this, the offer of sources must be valid for (I believe it's) three years from the time of distribution of the binaries -- thus, you must keep the exact sources necessary to build the binaries as distributed (not an updated version of those sources) available for three years BEYOND the point at which you stop distributing the binaries, so users who get the binaries the last time they were distributed have sufficient time to decide they want the sources, and (covering the user-trivial case) so they can pass on disks using you as an upstream sources provider, provided they don't have to be a provider themselves.

It is the three-year requirement in this choice that sometimes ensnares distributions that are otherwise playing by the rules, as many don't realize that if they only include the offer for sources, it must remain valid for three years after they've stopped distributing the binaries. Take a distribution that may be distributing historical versions of their LiveCD, for instance, from say 2003. As long as they are still distributing that LiveCD, AND FOR THREE YEARS AFTER, in ordered to comply with the GPLv2, they must make the sources used to compile the binaries on that CD available, as well. So if they're still offering that historical 2003 LiveCD in August 2009, they better still have the sources used to create it available thru August, 2012, or they're in violation of the GPLv2 that at least the Linux kernel shipped on that LiveCD is licensed with. It's easy enough to forget about that part and thus be in violation, when they can't provide sources for the binaries that were current way back in 2003, but that they may well still be making available "for historical interest" on that 2003 LiveCD.

One many distributions become aware of this catch, they make it policy to ensure that they make available the actual sources at the time of distribution as well as the binaries, instead of simply providing the notice that people can request them later, so they don't have to worry about that 3-year thing.

Of course, if an organization is on top of things, and sets it up so they're tarballing all the sources for a particular shipped version and indexing them by product release and/or model number (and perhaps serial number as well, if they do in-line firmwaire updates), then the cost and hassle of archiving said sources for compliance on a product originally shipped in 2003, if it was still available in 2009 so must have sources available in 2012 for compliance with the sources notice provision, will all be fairly trivial. But they have to have thought that far ahead and be actually archiving things in a manner so they can retrieve them as used for a specific product they shipped, not merely the latest updated version thereof.

If I make software that runs on a linux distribution and set linux to run that software at boot-up does that mean I'm really altering linux itself?

It depends. If all you did was alter an initscript, then ordinarily no, tho if you're shipping even unmodified GPL binaries (including the Linux kernel), you likely need to ship sources for them anyway. If you modified the Linux kernel sources directly, or if your software is a Linux kernel module, therefore running in kernel space not userspace, then that's kernel modification and you'd be covered under kernel modification rules.

Do note that the Linux kernel is a special case in a number of ways, however. First, the Linux kernel license specifically disclaims any claim on derivation for anything running exclusively in userspace -- using only kernel/userspace interfaces. The userspace/kernelspace barrier is declared a legally valid derivation barrier, so if you stick to userspace, you are defined as not being derived from the kernel, and the kernel's GPL doesn't apply. Second, the global kernel license is specifically GPLv2 only, so GPLv3 doesn't even enter the equation as far as it's concerned.

Of course, if your software runs on Linux in userspace, it's very likely linked against some very common libraries, including glibc. Of course glibc and most if not all of the most common core libraries are LGPL, not GPL, so unless you modify their code, you're probably safe there. But that may or may not apply to other libraries you may have linked to.

All that said, assuming your software isn't linking to anything it shouldn't if it doesn't want to be GPL encumbered, simply setting up an initscript or the like to invoke it on boot, or even setting it up (using a kernel commandline parameter) to load in place of init, isn't by itself likely to trigger the modification or derivation clauses for anything GPL that also might also be shipped together with it.

But, for commercial Linux based hardware or software products, that still doesn't get one away from having to make available source for any GPLed products you distributed. The one exception to that, that I know of, is if you burn it into ROM, such that neither you nor the customer can upgrade it without physically replacing that chip, THEN you can ship GPL based hardware /without/ having to ship sources. But if it's firmware upgradeable at the factory, then sources must be made available.

Re:Huh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081865)

But, for commercial Linux based hardware or software products, that still doesn't get one away from having to make available source for any GPLed products you distributed. The one exception to that, that I know of, is if you burn it into ROM, such that neither you nor the customer can upgrade it without physically replacing that chip, THEN you can ship GPL based hardware /without/ having to ship sources.

This is incorrect; all versions of the GPL require you to provide source code.

Where you appear to be getting confused is that version 3 of the GPL additionally requires that software embedded in a "user product" is provided with any "installation information" which is necessary to replace the software (e.g. if the device requires upgrades to be digitally signed, you must provide signing keys). However, this specific part doesn't apply if the software cannot be replaced by anyone, including the manufacturer (e.g. if it's in ROM).

10 days notice is a little short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081401)

I totally agree on enforcing the respect of GPL and any opensource license, but if you really want to show you tried hard to solve it with them before getting legal, it might not be that efficient.

I don't know if the notice was sent by snailmail or email, but if you subtract 3 days for mail travel each way, 2 weekend days, that's only 4 days to reply. I don't think any company can reply that fast, as they have to take some serious decisions about it. Also if you want to be sure you will get read, you might want to backup your snailmail with emails to more than 1 contact address and a phone-call.

13 whole days to lawsuit (2, Interesting)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081429)

You sure are generous. This smells more like troll than do gooder. I thought the States held the award for being sue happy. kudos to you for bringing it to the old country. IMHO you are poorly representing the GPL. We want friends and converts, not enemies. Email, call, send certified mail, not lawsuits. Sueing them makes you and us look like fuckwits.

Sera

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (5, Informative)

rohde (1618993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081463)

The company NDS that actually does most of the software on the box and tracked me down actually had 1 month to come up with an excuse for why the box violated GPL. I had direct contact with one of their representatives. They failed to give me any answer. I then contact the satellite provider using certified mail and wait 13 days for their answer. How long should I wait for this to be fair? The Danish providers have ignored GPL for years and I am pretty sure they know it. It would be nice of them to at least contact me and say we are working on it.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081519)

I put cash money down on a physical server with 1T of 15k rpm spinning disks 3 days ago. If said server gets here in 6 weeks I will be happy. The job that it is meant to fill might be ready in 3 months. To be frank, the world works slower than you do, get used to it.

Sera

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (3, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081597)

Good for you, but here in Denmark things works differently. 2 weeks notice is plenty of time, often people just go straight to Fogedretten and gets injunctions against the offending parties.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081609)

I put cash money down on a physical server with 1T of 15k rpm spinning disks 3 days ago. If said server gets here in 6 weeks I will be happy.

Erm... Why does your supplier suck so much?

Seriously, Newegg carries this kind of stuff, and I've never seen them take more than a few days. Granted, Newegg also doesn't provide the kind of service I'm sure your supplier does, but really, six weeks? WTF are they doing for six weeks?

To be frank, the world works slower than you do, get used to it.

An appropriate response here is often: s/get used to it/do something about it/g.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081639)

Yeah. 24/7 with a 1 hour outage guarantee is worth 6 weeks wait. Having any hardware replaced within an hour 24/7/365.25 is totally worth the wait. NewEgg wont come close to that. We run a business here, not an anime fanboi site.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081667)

Then you probably should have mentioned that you where not touching the product and that you where geyting it via a dedicated hosting provider.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081685)

I am touching it. It will be in my server room.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082131)

They are guaranteeing =1 hour downtime 24/7 without physically holding the box?

How is that even physically possible? Does their service rep live next door to your company, and have no life?

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081711)

If they really need 6 weeks to deliver the server how do you expect them to be able to replace any part of it within one hour at a later time?

That does not make much sense.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081627)

On an unrelated note, thanks for publishing the details of the case in English, and I hope you'll keep giving updates in English.

There have been several of these cases in Germany, and the details have only been published in German, which means 99% of the world won't get to hear about them.

Rich.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (2)

49152 (690909) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081823)

Just to nitpick a bit.

The correct number should be 97% or 94% if you limit yourself to the "Internet population" and not the global population.

You might find it interesting that about 70% of Internet users would not have understood the article in English either.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (0, Flamebait)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081673)

Why did they "track you down"?

If you had "direct contact" you never said that on your website, In any event perhaps the word 'direct' means something different for you. How long should you wait? No idea, but a month is good bet I guess. Considering you are waxing legal I would say 3 months. Heck it takes 6-8 weeks to get your cereal box top rewards, I can only imagine legal takes longer. I would be nice of them to say they are working on it.... however it is not required. Sueing them will make it take longer.

Sera

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081831)

Even though it would probably take their lawyers 3 months to answer his letter, it should take their secretary no less than 3 days to confirm they have recieved it. Something easy, like for example: "We have recieved your letter, but it will take our lawyers some time to come up with an answer. Considering you are waxing legal I would say 3 months."

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (5, Informative)

rohde (1618993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081863)

Please read my web page as it pretty much answers why they decided to track me down. I'm beginning to think you did not read the prologue? I was in contact multiple times with the security investigators from NDS and made them aware of the problem. We had meetings and phone conversations. It is now 6 weeks since I pointed them to the GPL violations and no comments so far. Viasat distributes the box and is the official offender, but I am pretty sure they rely on the solution bought from NDS. This is why I first tried to talk with NDS.
If you are wondering why NDS sent security investigators it was most likely because I started digging into how the box is tied to your subscription card, thus making it impossible for you to use other brands of satellite receivers.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081493)

``We want friends and converts, not enemies. Email, call, send certified mail, not lawsuits. Sueing them makes you and us look like fuckwits.''

Yes. On the other hand, how many notices do companies still need to get? They get the license itself (which they should have read - without the license, they would be infringing on your copyright by distributing your software), the short summary of the license (not legally binding, but makes the conditions pretty clear to anyone who bothers to read it), and, by now, plenty of cases have been filed and reported about (often against companies who do similar things, so if you keep up to date with what happens in your field, you probably know about it).

Yet, companies continue to barge ahead and use software without abiding by the license, simply because they can. If we continue to go after companies on a case by case basis, and start by being nice and notifying them before taking legal action, we will be letting many projects off the hook. That's fine as far as being friends with the people in these projects go (unless they are annoyed by the simple fact that they're doing something wrong and need to take corrective action - which is not unlikely), but what about the rest of the world? What about those who contributed to the software? What about the users of the modified software, who aren't given all the rights they ought to be given?

Think about it in terms of value. What's happening is that the contributors to the software are pouring some value into it. The conditions in the license state that the value has to be passed on to those who receive the software. Instead, what's happening is that some company is pocketing it all. Now, do we really want to be nice to them? I think the answer is "yes", but, at the same time, we must not fail to realize exactly how much these companies are ripping us off, whether they do it on purpose or through negligence.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081533)

How many do you want them to respond to?

This guy sent a mail, wasn't satisfied - in 13 days, then sued.

By all means nail the GPL violators, but yeesh give them a chance to come clean first.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (2, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082055)

``This guy sent a mail, wasn't satisfied - in 13 days, then sued.

  By all means nail the GPL violators, but yeesh give them a chance to come clean first.''

I don't disagree, I'm just saying that they've had that chance. It didn't start with that letter. The right of the company to distribute software it does not have the copyright to starts with a license from the copyright holder. So their first chance to do it right would have to either distribute the software under the terms of the GPL, or obtain a different license from the copyright holders.

Secondly, the mail your refer to is not the only warning they have gotten. In my previous post, I've already pointed out that there have been similar cases of GPL violations. They could have known about these. The author of the mail you refer to also says he has been in contact with the violating companies prior to sending his mail. Even if the violators had mistakenly assumed that the GPL allows them to distribute software in the way they were distributing it, they've had opportunities to realize this wasn't the case. Primarily, of course, they should not have made that assumption - they should have actually read the license they got.

Thirdly, 13 days is enough to at least get back to the sender of the mail and convince him that you are looking into the problem and willing to resolve it in a satisfactory manner.

Finally, I do not think that going to court at any point is unreasonable. It is what you do if you feel you cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement with the other party otherwise. Suing the other party does not preclude you from reaching agreement in any way. It simply means that a third party will decide the case if the two parties in conflict fail to reach agreement.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081617)

I thought you were all fuckwits even before the suit.

One more reason NEVER to use penguin based opertaing systems.

Re:13 whole days to lawsuit (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081857)

Perhaps you should read the timeline again; he hasn't actually sued yet. He is preparing to do so, but that's hardly the same thing. And who knows, perhaps that's exactly the bit of prodding needed to get Viasat to take him seriously.

Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GPL? (2, Interesting)

RCL (891376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081453)

They use customized Linux [wikipedia.org] ([archived page with details] [archive.org]) and don't even bother to provide the source with each copy.

What's worse, they change copyright notices [livejournal.com] of existing programs to their employees and do not include GPL license text in their "distribution".

Is it a GPL violation? They don't distribute MSVS outside of MoD and its numerous branches (state companies) - you can't neither buy nor download the system. Is it Ok to do the aforementioned things then?

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081481)

Put it this way: Are you willing to go to Russia and attempt to sue them?

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (1)

RCL (891376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081593)

Well, Microsoft has been quite successful in fighting copyright violations of its own products by Russian government and affiliated entities. Right now they all pay large license fees (that's why they dream to build nationwide Linux distro [slashdot.org] and already started converting schools to Linux [slashdot.org]).

But again, Microsoft has got a lot of money...

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081499)

if they don't distribute it then its perfectly fine.

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (1)

RCL (891376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081567)

So the "creators" (an institute [vniins.ru], affiliated to Ministry of Defense) aren't considered to be distributors in GPL sense when they ship their systems [vniins.ru] to another Ministry of Defense-affiliated entities?

P.S. Prior to 2009, they used to have an "order" form on their site, presumably for everyone - but right now it's gone.

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081883)

The ones that should sue would be Russian Ministry of Defense. Do you think they are going to do that?

Re:Does Russian Ministry of Defence violate the GP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081909)

If the creators are legally a separate organization, they would be obligated to offer the source to the Ministry of Defense who would presumably be their customer. They aren't obliged to offer the source to random internet users. Of course it may be the case that under Russian law the obligations of the GPL are not entirely binding - AFAIK they do have Westernized copyright and contract laws these days, but who knows about their laws on national security?

Dumb Idiots. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081479)

  And people wonder why Linux market share is still so low. And it's about even lower from this lawsuit. Sueing people over things like this is good way to make enemies, not friends.

Re:Dumb Idiots. (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081541)

Also, their lawsuit is not going too far, unless they personally are the copyright owners of the code. Just having a violation is not enough. The copyright owner needs to sue them for it. It's not enough for someone who have heard about the work to sue them.

Re:Dumb Idiots. (3, Informative)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081595)

Also, their lawsuit is not going too far, unless they personally are the copyright owners of the code. Just having a violation is not enough. The copyright owner needs to sue them for it. It's not enough for someone who have heard about the work to sue them.

From http://duff.dk/viasat/ [duff.dk] (TFA)

August 16th, 2009 - It has been brought to my attention that I do not state which part of the GPL code I am claiming copyright ownership on. I have some patches in the Linux kernel and a direct copyright notice in e.g. therm_adt746x.c [linux.no]. However my patches alone are not going to make a very strong case and it is my hope that big contributors to busybox and uClibc will help out making a bigger group of people who had their copyright violated. I have already contacted several people who have very clear violations of their copyright in the product, and we are looking to sue on their behalf too. But let me please be very clear about the fact that I would rather this case could be settled in a peaceful manner.

not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29081697)

Viasat is actually a sweedish company. They are one of the biggest providers
of tv-channels in Scandinavia. In Norway, where I live, they'll sell you a receiver
for 50 cent and then charge you up to 150$ a month depending on how many
channels you want. A much better solution is baying a Dreambox instead and
getting the codes you need via the internet. The Dreambox, by the way, is also
running on linux.

Probably impossible for them to comply (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081887)

Reasons why they may not be able to comply with the GPL:
1.3rd party hardware info they cant share (sattelite receiver chips, hardware video decoders, smart cards/smart card slots etc)
2.Sharing the GPL bits may help hackers figure out how to talk to the smart cards (either in the box or in a custom hardware rig) and from there hack the DRM and get free service.
3.Protecting the channels (for example, kernel source may show how video gets passed to the hardware video decoder or the TV encoder, both of which are places hackers could insert code to grab the video in order to make illegal copies and share them online, even just being able to run code on the box lets you do a lot in terms of hacking the box either to copy the content for sharing or hacking the service itself to try and get channels without paying for them). Or even simply being able to use the provided info (from the GPL source) to build a 3rd party box capable of receiving the channels and properly decoding them.

Re:Probably impossible for them to comply (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29081991)

1. If any of the 3rd party materials violate the GPL then as distributers of the device it's their responsibility to ensure that the whole thing is legally compliant, just as they would with any proprietary code, before they start selling it.

2. "It might affect our profits" is not a sound legal defence.

3. See 2

Re:Probably impossible for them to comply (2, Interesting)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082011)

Those would be reasons they don't want to comply. Not reasons they are unable to.

It seems to me that a simple solution is to make it legal to pirate (to use the vernacular) any content received with these boxes. Actually encode into law that any media transmitted to these boxes automatically enters the public domain for as long as the software's license is violated. They'd clean up really fast or lose their market.

Re:Probably impossible for them to comply (5, Informative)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082137)

If they do not comply, regardless of the reason, then they do not have any license to redistribute the GPLed software at all.

If they cannot comply then they will end up having to pay punitive damages to the copyright holders of the software that they illegally distributed and cease any further distribution of the software.

You cannot simply ignore the GPL because it doesn't fit with your other contractual obligations. The copyright holders were not a party to those other contracts and so the existence of them does not free the distributors of their GPL obligations.

Re:Probably impossible for them to comply (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#29082181)

Tough shit. They should have thought of that before grabbing someone else's source and modifying it. There is such a thing as due diligence, you know.

Mart

Why don't they use *BSD? (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29082007)

I don't understand why the embedded systems world hasn't embraced one of the *BSDs, to avoid this kind of thing?

What a muppet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29082093)

Does that guy like, not have anything better to do than pester companies for not releasing source code?

Companies that use anything GPL are stupid.

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