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Most Android Tablets Fail At GPL Compliance 198

Posted by timothy
from the hey-man-those-are-just-like-rules dept.
polar_bear` writes "Red Hat's Matthew Garrett has been checking to see who's naughty and nice. Most Android tablet vendors? Naughty, naughty, naughty, when it comes to GPL compliance. In the current crop of Android tablets, most of the vendors flout the GPL and fail to ship source."
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Most Android Tablets Fail At GPL Compliance

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  • Re:Ship Source? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday December 31, 2010 @03:37AM (#34719766)

    It is sufficient if they use stock Android.

    Making available does not require shipping, nor does it include hosting your own servers. You need merely "make it available". There are no specific requirements as to where it must be a available, and having the Open Handset Alliance perform this service is sufficient.

    Samsung and some others are quite responsive in getting the source out there. Others not so much.

    My only point in my post above is there is no requirement that the source be "shipped". It merely needs to be available along with any modifications a manufacturer makes to it.

  • Re:Ship Source? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday December 31, 2010 @03:56AM (#34719872) Journal
    Even if the device in question is a completely unaltered build of upstream, public-ally available, sources, anything GPL still has to be either made available with the binary or the binary has to be accompanied by a written offer to provide on request for no more than reasonable duplication costs.

    Many of these devices probably don't deviate much from upstream; but I'd be surprised if they are 100% identical(not that that is legally relevant; but if you aren't even shipping a binary based on upstream source, you definitely can't just point to that source and claim to be in compliance). Now, in practice, if given the choice between just checking out from upstream or paying reasonable duplication fees to get a CD with some horribly messy .rar of a slapdash build environment on it, most people are probably just going to go with the former. That doesn't absolve the distributor of the binary of their legal obligations, though.
  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday December 31, 2010 @04:04AM (#34719908)

    yea companies like Samsung ...

    ok BSchinatech.ripoff I can understand, I pay 75 bucks for a tab, 5 years later who gives a crap

    but Sylvania is on that list too, are they a no-name company that will vanish from a little GPL lawsuit? what about Zenith or Viewsonic, or Creative Labs?

  • Re:Ship Source? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday December 31, 2010 @04:05AM (#34719916)

    Drivers are a debatable case.

    Some insist anything linked against the kernel libraries (making calls to the kernel) must be make source code available. But I do not believe this is the general consensus.

  • Re:Ship Source? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday December 31, 2010 @04:25AM (#34720012)

    Exactly.

    But some here insist you must PERSONALLY host it. This bit is not true. Nor need you ship it.

    You need simply to make it available SOMEWHERE for three years.

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