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157 comments

Source code here: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21507983)

You can view the source code (with changes made in bold) here [tinyurl.com].

Re:Source code here: (0, Offtopic)

riff420 (810435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508087)

Dear Stupid Fuckface, I'm at work. Looking at newly released source-code is a major part of my job. Go fuck yourself. Love, Me. P.S. You are a stupid fuckface. P.P.S. Two girls One Cup is old news. Get with it.

Re:Source code here: (0, Offtopic)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508179)

Dear Stupid Fuckface, Click here to enable previews. [tinyurl.com] Go fuck yourself. Love, TinyURL. P.S. You are a stupid fuckface. P.P.S. Preview Feature is old news. Get with it.

Re:Source code here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508465)

reading /. is part of your job?

just don't bother (0, Offtopic)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507991)

Who the fuck wants to bother with these assholes? If you support the idea of computing for children then help out with OLPC
and tell asus intel and microsoft to go fuck themselves

Re:just don't bother (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508441)

That's not what it was designed to be. Picture a sales force or service technicians armed with these. Calendar, Google maps, IM, Open Office and Skype in less than a Kg. This is the unit that's going to put linux in a LOT of peoples hands. And who knows? Once they get used to Linux on the road, they might want it at home and the office.

Re:just don't bother (1)

tripppy (921964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510885)

"This is the unit that's going to put linux in a LOT of peoples hands"
WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!

Re:just don't bother (0, Offtopic)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511243)

I would help out with the OLPC, but I guess I'm just not nice enough to make a pure cash donation or I would have done. I was all ready to go for the give-one-get-one, but for whatever reason they don't care about the $200 they would have got from me, or my (modest) skills writing code and offering support, because I'm one of the 93% of the planet's population who don't live in the US or Canada. So instead of my cash funding a laptop for a kid in the developing world it's going to end up lining the pockets of first-world shareholders. *shrug*

What's With the Name? (4, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508009)

EEE? Triple E PC? What's with the name (i.e. what does it signify)?

Re:What's With the Name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508217)

Why was parent modded troll? Its a perfectly legitimate question.

Re:What's With the Name? (4, Informative)

norminator (784674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508351)

I believe it's from "Easy to Learn, Easy to Work, Easy to Play" [asus.com].

It may also be three different 'E' words, though, but I forgot what those are, if that is the case... Initially, I think it was part of the marketing to explain what the EEE stood for, but maybe that's fallen by the wayside now.

Re:What's With the Name? (2, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508913)

Asus has a history of making good stuff (I'm typing on an Asus laptop at the moment) but with occasionally wacky names and marketing phrases.

Re:What's With the Name? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508531)

I think originally it was just ePC? But they wanted their yellow book entry before eMAC? Honestly. I'd like to know too.

Re:What's With the Name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509949)

I think it's changed because when I first heard about it the name stood for something, then I *think* it was something different and the guy interviewed said it was also inspired by the named Wii.

Better late than never (5, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508017)

"The code released by Asus brings the company into compliance with its obligations under the GPL and should satisfy most of the critics."

And those critics that aren't satisfied by that will all be regulars here at /.

They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1, Interesting)

hacker (14635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508021)

I see this quite a lot... companies admitting their guilt, and then releasing "cleaned up" source code that complies with the license(s) in question.

The problem is that "cleaned-up" source code creates a different set of binaries, for which source code must also be released.

They need to release the SAME source code that was used to create the binaries which they've already released and distributed, not just "cleaned-up" code, which generates different binaries.

You tested, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508047)

So.. In these like 5 minutes you had the time to test that out? Stop the FUD'ing please.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (0, Flamebait)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508141)

Guess what? Courts usually allow companies to correct simple, honest mistakes without suffering disproportionate penalties that would ruin their business. A company may not be even in a position to release the source code as it may be owned by a third party. Releasing newly written code with equivalent functionality or even rewriting GPL code and keeping the product closed source is considered enough to cure a license violation.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (4, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508359)

Wow. I have mod points, but there is no "-1 where the hell did that come from" option. I do not disagree with your first sentence, but the remainder of your post is completely and utterly wrong, at least in how it pertains to Asus and this discussion.

"A company may not be even in a position to release the source code as it may be owned by a third party." Fair enough, but this article is about a company distributing a GNU/Linux system with a modified kernel module that is GPL'd. There is no third party involved and even if there were, there is no way that Asus could both legally distribute their version of GNU/Linux in binary format (installed on the device) and simultaneously *not* release the modified source code; regardless of said third party's standing on distribution of the code. This is GPL 101 type stuff. Check it out. [gnu.org]

"Releasing newly written code with equivalent functionality or even rewriting GPL code and keeping the product closed source is considered enough to cure a license violation." That is so wrong I don't even know where to begin. How about you come up with some citations for that asinine bit of trash? I feel dumber for having read that.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508543)

How about you come up with some citations for that asinine bit of trash?

It's because it's true. Duh.

In order to come into compliance, one thing you can do is stop shipping the product. You are then in compliance again.

Then, you re-write the pieces that were causing the problem, and you start shipping the product again with the newly re-written pieces.

Now, if you happen to be able to re-write those pieces so that you can stop/start shipping on the same day, well, that's ok too, you are still in compliance.

Read the license - it's in there.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (4, Informative)

hacker (14635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508797)

It's because it's true. Duh.

Not quite, see below.

In order to come into compliance, one thing you can do is stop shipping the product. You are then in compliance again.

And you are still in violation of the license. How do you handle the penalties for your existing violation?

Then, you re-write the pieces that were causing the problem, and you start shipping the product again with the newly re-written pieces.

And you still have not released the source that is mated to the version you've already shipped. Where is the source that goes with version 1.0? If you release version 2.0 with "cleaned-up" source code, you are still required to release sources for version 1.0, as well as atone for your prior violation with that version. Just because you complied at version v2.0 doesn't mean your violation with v1.0 goes away.

Sony tried this game with their version of the POSE FLOSS project. They would release v1.0 in binary, then release 2.0 binaries, with v1.0 source code, and so on. Always keeping the source 1 release behind. They were in direct violation of the letter and spirit of the GPL license.

Now, if you happen to be able to re-write those pieces so that you can stop/start shipping on the same day, well, that's ok too, you are still in compliance.

You are assumed to be in compliance with the GPL for version 2.0 of your product, but you are still in violation of version 1.0 of your product. What do you do for all of the units already out in the hands of consumers?

Each unit is now subject to US Copyright violation penalties, which vary from $20k to $200k per-unit (look it up). If you shipped 1,000 units, that's a $20M penalty at the low end of that scale.

Read the license - it's in there.

It sure is, and you've misinterpreted it very nicely.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510227)

Its nice to hear some GPL sense on Slashdot for once.

Companies still irritate the hell out of me with GPL code.
They always make their product and release the source as a after thought.
So they are all violating for a period of time.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511451)

Each unit is now subject to US Copyright violation penalties, which vary from $20k to $200k per-unit (look it up).

IANAL, but I suspect it's per violation, not per unit. Each unit contains code from many projects. Not providing the source for the Linux kernel they used would be one violation. Not providing the source for the Busybox they used would be another and so on and so on. [I don't know exactly what they actually used, they're just examples]

Incidentally, according to the GPL it doesn't matter if they modified the source or not, they have to provide the source they used to anyone to whom they provided the binary.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (0, Offtopic)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509249)

Just consider some other cases covered by slashdot, such as:

1. Microsoft modifying Internet Explorer to work around Eolas patent rather than paying up
2. RIM modifying Blackberry to work around push e-mail patent
3. Linux community removing a small amount of code claimed by SCO as infringing and customers not being found liable for past violations
4. Apple renaming Rendevoiz to Bonjour to avoid a trademark violation
5. Ditto Apple Music Store -> iTunes Music store to avoid a clash with Apple Records
6. Ditto Lindows being renamed to Linsprire

 

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (4, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509715)

I am not sure of the point you are trying to make. None of the examples you give are GPL violations.

1. Microsoft violated Eolas' patent. Microsoft has no obligation to release source code for IE as they own the copyright to that source code.
2. See above.
3. Please give me an example of SCO code that is illegally included in Linux. The SCO group never could.
4. Trademark != copyright.
5. The Apple Music store thing was a private contract between Apple records and Apple computer.
6. Lindows was renamed due to a trademark violation. Refer to #4 above.

None of your examples have anything to do with the GPL or even copyright.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (2, Informative)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510251)

6. Lindows was renamed due to a trademark violation. Refer to #4 above.

That's not really accurate. Microsoft brought a suit against Lindows for trademark violation. After several court decisions made it look like they might lose their claim on the Windows trademark (because it was too generic), Microsoft bought the Lindows trademark from the company that is now Linspire for $24 Million.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510621)

Are you saying that Copyright somehow has more privileged status than patents or trademarks and courts forgive minor infractions for the later two but not the former?

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511077)

No, he's saying that patents and trademarks are different items and covered by different laws.

Compare theft and assault. Both are equally illegal, but the crimes are different so the laws -- hence also the punishments -- are different.

HAL.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511279)

And yet courts have been known to impose no or minimal penalties for patent infringement (if accidental and quickly corrected), trademark infringement (ditto), theft (if getting essential food and medicine in a disaster zone) and assault (if the defendant had reasons to believe that the victim posed an immediate physical threat). Why are you so sure that an accidental, small in scope and promptly corrected copyright violation will not be handled in a similar manner?

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511207)

Are you saying that Copyright somehow has more privileged status than patents or trademarks and courts forgive minor infractions for the later two but not the former?
No. He said that copyright is a different beast.

Trademarks, patents and copyright don't have may things in common, aside from the fact that they don't have a physical existence.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (2, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510211)

"Releasing newly written code with equivalent functionality or even rewriting GPL code and keeping the product closed source is considered enough to cure a license violation." That is so wrong I don't even know where to begin. How about you come up with some citations for that asinine bit of trash? I feel dumber for having read that.
Insulting people does not make you sound more authoritative. If you can't be polite, perhaps you should refrain from posting at all.

As it happens he is slightly incorrect, but his basic point -- that it is possible to resolve a GPL violation without releasing code -- is valid.

The situation is that a GPL violation is like any other copyright violation. It can be resolved in two ways: either the violator can obtain a license from the copyright holder, or the violator must cease and desist the violation and pay damages. In the case of GPL violations, what typically happens is that the copyright holder says "comply with the GPL and you will have a license to use this code", so the violator complies with the GPL and everyone's happy. But it is entirely plausible that a violation could be resolved by the violator withdrawing the product or rewriting code to remove the infringing sections. The only slight flaw in the GP's statement is that this in itself would not necessarily be the end of the story, because the copyright holders could still demand monetary damages to compensate them for the violation.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508451)

Releasing newly written code with equivalent functionality or even rewriting GPL code and keeping the product closed source is considered enough to cure a license violation.

care to cite any sources for that? because unless the binary resulting from compiling the rewritten source-code is exactly the same as the one being distributed in the first place, I don't think it'd satisfy the GPL's definition of "the product's source code".

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508623)

Releasing newly written code with equivalent functionality or even rewriting GPL code and keeping the product closed source is considered enough to cure a license violation.

Considered enough by who? GPL-violators hoping to get away with it, but happy to comply with the license as "punishment" if they get caught?

Sure, in practice copyright holders are frequently nice and decline to sue if the violator quickly comes into compliance. But there's no guarantee of that - if any copyright holder in a GPLed work ever decided not to be nice and sued the violator would almost assuredly have to A.) recall the product containing the GPLed code B.) pay damages for every copy distributed C.) never distribute that open source program for anything again because their license was revoked. That's for any violation at all, even distributing one copy without the the source code or a written offer to provide it included.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

2short (466733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508849)

"Considered enough by who?"

The Judge hearing your lawsuit. The point is if you appear to have made a reasonable mistake, and make a reasonable attempt to remedy it promptly, a reasonable judge is not going to impose any sort of unreasonable penalties. Whether the rights holder wants to be nice or not, a minor infraction doesn't mean they can burn the infringer's business down.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511261)

The judge isn't simply going to ignore copyright infringement because the penalties might damage the offender's business.

If the copyright holder isn't willing to settle, the absolute best case the infringer can expect is an injunction against distributing any further copies of the defendant's code and some minor financial penalty. The problem is that injunction - depending on what the product is and how important it is to the infringer's business, it very well may be equivalent to "burning the infringer's business down".

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508177)

you didn't actually read the article did you? no where does it say anything implying that the source code was "cleaned up" in this case to avoid complying with the GPL. Secondly, had they done so as you point out the binaries would not be the same, surely someone would have noticed.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (2, Insightful)

norminator (784674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508403)

For a product that hasn't been out that long, I would think that as long as it matches the binaries they send out from this point on would suffice. I mean, maybe someone could go after them for what was previously released, but why bother?

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508427)

They need to release the SAME source code that was used to create the binaries which they've already released and distributed, not just "cleaned-up" code, which generates different binaries.
No, they don't. First of all, unless someone sues they won't need to do anything at all and even if someone did, they'd never be forced to release code but they might have to pay damages. Nor would releasing source free them from those damages. Legally it has no weight in one direction or the other. It's an olive branch, a token of good faith, a "settlement offer" - if I release this, are we cool? To which you can of course say "Not good enough" if you're legally entitled to sue. And quite frankly, unless they removed 99% of the secret source I think most would be happy with "umm we're not usre about the exact source version, but here's the complete source for our latest build with all enhancements and bug fixes we've done since". Anything else is a witchhunt in best RIAA-style.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (1)

greedyturtle (968401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509773)

They might also be forced to cease distribution of any product that still used the code in question.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509223)

Kindly shut up. Out of interest, how much Open Source code have you written and released? Because it strikes me that the vast majority of shrill whiners that have whinged and moaned, aren't actually the people who have any sort of stake in this, other than their self-declared "support" for Open Source. As an Open Source author, I could do without your "support", thanks.

Re:They're going to release the SAME code, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509833)

Obviously you haven't looked at the OP's urls in his sig and his post. A quick google reveals that he's involved in a pretty large handful of other OSS projects.

You're the troll, kindly leave.

ASUS: Brilliant Marketing Strategy (5, Insightful)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508037)

1. Release geek-oriented product nobody's ever heard of
2. Make it very obvious it's based on GNU/Linux
3. "Accidentally" screw up the GPL code release
4. Wait for Slashdot Story
5. Fix GPL code release
6. Trigger Slashdot follow-up story
5. Free advertising sells lots of product
6. Profit!

Re:ASUS: Brilliant Marketing Strategy (0, Troll)

pyster (670298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508075)

Do you live under a rock where you didnt hear about the eeePC? It's been all over internet news for weeks. 1. Stay uninformed. 2. Make stupid comment because you arent informed. 3. Get made fun of. 4. slit your wrists.

Re:ASUS: Brilliant Marketing Strategy (5, Funny)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508633)

123456....56

wjat?

Re:ASUS: Brilliant Marketing Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508715)

1. Release geek-oriented product nobody's ever heard of

The "troll" above is correct, this is a very heavily marketed product that is well known and has been sold out in many locations in Asia.

More likely explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509377)

1. Release small usable laptop at nice price point for geeks and non-geeks alike.
2. Use Linux to develop a free interface, keeping costs down.
3. Push to keep up with an ideal holiday release deadline.
4. Accidentally omit incidental GPL code during the rush.

Never attribute to malice what you can to incompetence and/or the simplest explanation is most likely the right one.

Re:ASUS: Brilliant Marketing Strategy (2, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509517)

1. Release geek-oriented product nobody's ever heard of
2. Make it very obvious it's based on GNU/Linux
3. "Accidentally" screw up the GPL code release
4. Wait for Slashdot Story
5. Fix GPL code release
6. Trigger Slashdot follow-up story
5. Free advertising sells lots of product
3. ????
6. Profit!
Fixed

Free publicity (1)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508111)

Is it me, or is it funny how Asus gets free publicity for screwing up.

Re:Free publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508463)

Is it me, or is it funny how Asus gets free publicity for screwing up.

I don't know why your surprised, Microsoft has been using this advertising methode for a long time.

Re:Free publicity (4, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509609)

Is it me, or is it funny how Asus gets free publicity for screwing up.

No, they get free publicity for doing the right thing, which, unfortunately, is uncommon amongst the business world.

Re:Free publicity (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511575)

Which corrupt hellhole do you live in? I think you'll find the overwhelming majority of first-world companies stay within the law, and they don't ever get applauded for it. Compliance with the law is the norm, not the exception.

Impatient, Are We? (5, Insightful)

Tenshigure (1105825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508115)

The EeePC has only been available publicly for a few weeks now. It was purely speculation that they were willingly holding back the code for asus_acpi and the other crap, and now they've corrected that mistake. Those 'critics' need to calm down sometimes, not every large corporation out there is trying to destroy the 'sanctity of GPL' at every opportunity.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508225)

Those 'critics' need to calm down sometimes, not every large corporation out there is trying to destroy the 'sanctity of GPL' at every opportunity.

Neither are they trying to comply with it, unless someone points out their mistake.

I mean, we're talking about source code that is already written. They have a disc marked "master source code for product rev 1" somewhere, it takes pretty much zilch extra effort to have that included with the product. Just duplicate it and throw it in. The fact they had to make a different "cleaned up" version just confirms my suspicions as to why they didn't release it to begin with; the actual source code has programming hacks and embarrassing comments in it, like some previous examples of closed-source code that has been forced in to public view by the courts.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (2, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508335)

The fact they had to make a different "cleaned up" version just confirms my suspicions as to why they didn't release it to begin with; the actual source code has programming hacks and embarrassing comments in it, like some previous examples of closed-source code that has been forced in to public view by the courts.

[citation needed]

Seriously though, what are you basing this off of? I read TFA and I can't find any reference in that, or in the articles it links to that say ASUS released "cleaned up" versions of the code. Even the guy who originally discovered this and blogged about it, says he thinks it wasn't ASUS being malicious, just negligent and forgetting to publish the code.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508881)

Neither are they trying to comply with it, unless someone points out their mistake.

Well I haven't bought one of these, so they have no oligation in respect of the GPL to me, and I don't know what offers came in the box for those who have purchased one.
According to the article there's a 1.8GB archive available for download, which is hardly failing to make stuff available, your comment seems somewhat harsh.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (2, Informative)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509195)

I haven't bought one either. I'm what you might call one of those "any third party [gnu.org]" people that they have an obligation to under the GPL:

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange;
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
From the FAQ

What does this "written offer valid for any third party" mean? Does that mean everyone in the world can get the source to any GPL'ed program no matter what?
If you choose to provide source through a written offer, then anybody who requests the source from you is entitled to receive it.
If you commercially distribute binaries not accompanied with source code, the GPL says you must provide a written offer to distribute the source code later. When users non-commercially redistribute the binaries they received from you, they must pass along a copy of this written offer. This means that people who did not get the binaries directly from you can still receive copies of the source code, along with the written offer.
The reason we require the offer to be valid for any third party is so that people who receive the binaries indirectly in that way can order the source code from you.

Last minute changes (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509345)

Full Disclosure.....I haven't received my eee yet, I ordered it last Wednesday and it is due to arrive this week. I can't logon here at my client; my nick is alanbcohen

As I understand it, Asus used a new chip to meet the cost targets and had to make some last minute code changes to get working systems out the door. No 'cleanup' of proprietary source, no trying to hide stuff. Over at the eeeuser forum, they are already reporting successful recompiles of the source and use in a different distro install on an eee. Delay due to oversight is the simplest explanation (huh, ever heard of Occam's Razor?). All you conspiracy hunters; find a new playground!

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510321)

Neither are they trying to comply with it, unless someone points out their mistake.

And you believe this is what Asus did, based on what? The fact that they are a large corporation?

They may have the code written, but its not as easy as you suggest to distribute it (those cds cost money). They don't even need to include it at all; just make it available to someone who asks for it.

Back on topic, why do you simply believe this not to be a mistake? How many other products used GPL code prior to this one? If the answer is "none to very few" I think we can chalk that up to forgetting, not mallice.

They need to do more than calm down (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508275)

They need to get a grip and get a clue. Unfortunately something attracts impossibilists to Gnu/Linux. It's the same self destructive urge that stops organizations like the Green Party going anywhere - they want impossibly perfect behaviour from their supporters and proponents. There is something weird in the psychology that seems endlessly to find fault with the things it claims to support, but it is remarkably common. I'd like to think that all the original attacks on Asus were actually astroturfing Microsoft PR flaks, but unfortunately years of experience lead me to the knowledge that Linux and FOSS needs to be protected from some of its friends as well as its enemies.

Memo to these guys: you may not like having to live in your parents' basement, but you will find that a little tolerance of other people (and suppressing the hair trigger attack reaction) goes a long way when trying to lose your virginity.

Re:They need to do more than calm down (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508777)

You make a few good points in there, but lose me towards the end. I don't think it's impossible, nor a higher set of standards (necessarily), but just maybe, that others adhere to the same set of standards (which GPL requires) as any other commercial license does. In truth, to what degree are commercial license non compliant companies granted this same levity provided here by the GPL community? A shout here or there? Ok. Would a few mil in court be better? I guess that leads me to the latter - if such action were taken, how would financial compensation (and to whom) be granted? Any precedent on a prior GPL court award?

Re:They need to do more than calm down (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509635)

The point is, the GPL is not about extracting damages from people. It's not even about forcing people to give us their code. It's about ensuring code that is free remains free. If companies see GPL software as a legal trap where a simple mistake could leave them liable for thousand of dollars in fines, they're just going to avoid it completely. Which would kind of negate the entire purpose of sharing free software. Remember, the GPL is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Re:They need to do more than calm down (1)

expatriot (903070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509829)

I seem to remember a lot of /. comments recently (0620255) about how unreasonable BSA was in being excessive about honest mistakes in managing licensing.
Too many FOSS enthusiasts (to use a neutral word) seem to be actively trying to stop the widespread adoption of Linux. Major company produces cheap Linux laptop. Isn't that what everyone wanted?
So the reaction is to call for production to be stopped and threaten lawsuits.
And you wonder why some companies are reluctant to adopt Linux?

Re:Impatient, Are We? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508379)

Sure, and if I shared a few thousand copies of Vista, and stopped when Microsoft told me to, I'm sure they'd say "hey, don't worry about it, you've stopped, and that's the main thing, right?"

Just because somebody permits copying under specific circumstances, it doesn't mean that you can just go ahead and ignore those restrictions and copy it any way you please. Even though they've started complying with the license, they are still guilty of infringement for all the previous copies they distributed. This isn't corrected yet.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

Tenshigure (1105825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508425)

The difference between what I said what you said is based entirely on GPL vs non-GPL. Whereas Asus has made the code publicly available as stated by the GPL itself, your scenario violates the EULA of Vista and would therefore lead to prosecution since it doesn't have any mention of public distribution in that agreement.

Again, I point to the timeframe and also to the other users whom have cited error of forgetting to provide the source of their own codes as far as reasonable acceptance that they weren't out to 'destroy the GPL'. Though the clean-up may be questionable, it's still in compliance with the license.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509299)

Question: If someone did strip the EULA and distributed (in violation of copyright, for sure) copies of Vista, while they would be liable what about the people who received copies? If they don't distribute, does oopyright have anything to say?

Re:Impatient, Are We? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21510263)

Citation please. How do you know they haven't settled the issue of copyright infringement of the copies they distributed? From the article ASUS are now in compliance. IANAL, but even assuming this source code release doesn't count to stop the case for copyright infringement, it is a matter to be settled between the copyright holders and ASUS, so unless you are party to this (and you have given me no reason to believe you are) you wouldn't know if it has been settled or not and it is none of your damn business.

Re:Impatient, Are We? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510809)

They didn't even make that mistake. The author of the earlier article didn't even contact them to try to get the code. The GPL doesn't say the code has to be printed on a pile of t-shirts included with the product, on a tape, on a CDROM, a web link or anything like that - just that it has to be provided if you ask. Sometimes you have to ask.

Now that the source code is available... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508153)

Now that the source code is available, is it irrational to expect that one or a group of folks will in the very near future, provide code in ISO format that I can use to install on my "ordinary" PC? Hope so. So, for those who can, go to work. A slashdotter is watching this space.

Re:Now that the source code is available... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21511217)

That's nice, and I hope it happens, but for me...

For me the benefit of Asus releasing the code is that the next edition of Debian, Ubuntu, etc. will install cleanly if I buy one of their machines.

I'm not realistically likely to buy one of their machines soon. I'm not in the market, I'm just continually evaluating what's out there so that when I AM ready I'll have my ducks in a line. I had pretty much decided not to consider ASUS, because closed drivers mean I can't rely on installing the version of Linux that I need...but since they've released the code under GPL, that's not true. Now I'm a potential future customer. (I need more storage, but I'll bet anything that the next version will HAVE more storage.)

an honest mistake, let's take it easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508161)

I hear Asus was contacted on Friday for this issue; they responded on Monday morning Taipei time, and got it corrected on Tuesday. People have every right to be dissatisfied, but If I were the software lead in Asus I would start to feel that the open source community is too difficult to deal with. Asus is rather new to this, the open source community shouldn't burn a company just because it got started on the wrong foot, we ought to be more supportive.

As a company that "Sells" Open source... (5, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508203)

I work for a company that provides Open Source solutions. We are actively involved in several FOSS projects, and support the concept any way we can. That said, with the rapid advances of the base projects, and our changes to those projects, it is very easy to let publishing the source slip down the priority list. I have forgotten several times, and this has been on projects I develop for! (I fix it as soon as I realize...) I would bet many omissions can be attributed to overwork, and not malice.

Public SVN! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508377)

It's actually not that difficult to make publishing the default. What version control system are you using? Most will allow public (read-only) access, either with their tool or via some web interface.

Re:Public SVN! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508481)

If you don't want to publish the latest unreleased version, you can use svnsync to create a public version with everything up to the latest release and just change the version it syncs with when you push out a new release.

Re:Public SVN! (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510543)

It's actually not that difficult to make publishing the default. What version control system are you using? Most will allow public (read-only) access, either with their tool or via some web interface.

gedit... :) Essentially we do some slight modifications to existing projects, generally by hand, but occasionally by script. There is no svn, so scripts may be modified for a version rev with no backup taken. It is not major development here... The major work we do is contributed to the project first and rolled out by the project incorporating it. However, this makes tracking the little changes and helper web pages a challenge.

Re:As a company that "Sells" Open source... (2, Informative)

kfort (1132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508669)

According to section 3b of the GPL v2:

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

The part about a written offer might be a minor quibble, but you should be in the clear as long as you provide the source when someone asks for it. So you don't necessarily have to publish the source at the same time you release the binary if it is an oversight. As long as you include the license with the software and make it clear it is covered by the GPL, you should be legal by the letter of the license.

Re:As a company that "Sells" Open source... (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509337)

From the link in the original slashdot article, I thought it was stated that they did provide the offer. The problem was that they provided the original rather than the modified source code in their 1.8 MB zip.

That Extra Mile (4, Interesting)

tundra_man (719419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508265)

I have noted in the last few days the release of the various bits of source code and am happy to see Asus ensure that they are in compliance. Now I would love for them to go the extra mile and release the code changes to MadWifi to support the wireless. I know this is released under a BSD style license and they are not obligated but one of the biggest weaknesses of the Eee right now for me is the inability of their wpa_supplicant to offer enterprise encryption support. Something that is hard to change without the MadWifi source or switching to use NDISWrapper. The Eee is the best gadget but I want my wireless @ work.

NOTE: I have asked Asus about enterprise encryption support and they have said it may be coming. I have also asked about the madwifi source but received no definitive answer yet.

Re:That Extra Mile (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508347)

NOTE: I have asked Asus about enterprise encryption support and they have said it may be coming.
And the check's in the mail! ;D

Re:That Extra Mile (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508873)

In TFA (from the Asus website), they give you an email to Asus support. Tell them you (and many other Eee owners) would be much happier with the Eee if we had the madwifi drivers so we could use the Eee with whatever distro we wanted.

Or you could go the OSS zealot route and tell them that if they don't release the source, you will send your Eee to Blendtec and ensure that no one you know will buy one. Of course, I'd go with the first route.

ASUS releases source code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508343)

Maybe I'm missing something but the web site listed in the article does not seem to have any source code listed

Left hand, right hand? (3, Insightful)

kbahey (102895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510115)

Some of the posters see conspiracies every where (marketing strategy, ...etc.).

A simpler explanation is that in a large corporation, you have communication "issues" causing delays and lags. The technical folk may have finished their part of the project, but the web presence or product management folk has not gotten to publishing the source yet.

This is the classic left hand does know what the right hand does ...

Let us not assume bad intentions where no hard evidence exists.

Warranty? (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510781)

Any news on whether or not they're going to start honoring the warranties on the eeePC?

A bit of background on this: Apparently it's not just breaking those "void warranty" stickers on the memory door that voids the warranty, but doing anything at all to the box. Several users have reported Asus refusing to honor the warranty on completely unopened and unchanged eeePCs.

Very Little Committment to Open Source (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510813)

You can go to ASUS site and see that they have very little support for their products for open source. I have a relatively new model of a motherboard with wireless built in but I can't use it because ASUS decided I was not worth writing open source drivers for it.

So, then they create a project and base it on Linux, violate the GPL, and then claim they are well intentioned and support Open Source. This just isn't true and has not been. Their efforts to support Open Source has always been spotty and they've never really been committed.
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