Are they obligued to give me the source code?

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I'm new to embedded Linux (in fact, to any Linux), but I am considering
to use some specific commercial boards with "embedded Linux" in it. I'm
told that the Linux distro is based on Linux 2.6, and that they provide
us with the binaries already programmed in the Flash, as well as the
cross-compiler, etc.

We will probably add some hardware to that already present in the
commercial boards, so perhaps we will need to change the kernel, or add
some drivers, or whatever.

In any case, I thought that, as the distro they sell us is based on GPL
software, they should at least provide us with the source and
configuration files needed to rebuild the kernel. Are they obliged to do
  that, or am I wrong?

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?

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Yes they are required to.  All of the embedded Linux vendors
I've ever seen do so.  Have they told you they won't?  If so,
who are they?

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! INSIDE, I have the
                                  at               same personality disorder
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Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
Grant Edwards escribió:
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Thanks, Grant. A commercial guy from the distributor told me so, but he
was going to check it with the distro makers. I'll give them a chance
before publishing their name.

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
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They have to give you the source code if you ask for it, but they are
allowed to charge a small handling fee - they are not obliged to make
the source code a free-for-all download link.  But they *are* obliged to
tell you of your rights under the GPL.

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
In Germany a judge just ruled that they need to provide the source code
on a hardware medium (such as CD) and need to provide a written copy of
the GPL together with the hardware device.

-Michael

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?

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I'm not surprised. That's certainly what the text of the GPL
says.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! HELLO KITTY gang
                                  at               terrorizes town, family
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Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
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There is a distinction here (in the GPL - I don't know about the case
ruling).  I don't believe you have to provide a full copy of the GPL in
physical form (that would not apply to downloaded code, for example),
but they have to either provide the source code from the same source as
the binary (e.g., a CD accompanying the hardware), or a written offer,
valid for 3 years, to provide the source code on request.  I believe
that they must provide information to this effect along with the binary
(or the hardware, in this case).  There is no obligation to provide you
with a CD containing the source code - it is enough that they will give
you such a CD (possibly charging an administration fee) on request.

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
AFAI understood:

According to this decision the source code must come with the compiled
code. Thus if the compiled  code can be downloaded the source code needs
to be downloadable from the same site. If the compiled code comes with
some kind of a hardware, the source code should come with a related
roll-out.

-Michael

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
Michael Schnell a écrit :
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This would apply to all firmware downloads containing GPL stuff.
That's interesting as I know at least one company that does not
do that:  you have to pay $20 to get a CD with the (incomplete)
code.

Did you get that from the German ruling?


            Laurent

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
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(Please quote properly when replying in a Usenet group - it makes it
much easier to follow the thread, and is particularly relevant if anyone
looks up these posts in the archives.)

I'm not sure that such a ruling would have any effect - I don't believe
it is possible for a court to impose additional restrictions or
requirements beyond those in the license in question.  It's possible
that they can do this for a particular company and a particular case, as
a punishment for not following the license in the first place, but there
is no way a court can add requirements to a license in general.

mvh.,

David

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
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If course they were hearing a dedicate case. But as it supposedly is the
first ruling in such a case, other judges will follow that argument.

-Michael

Re: Are they obligued to give me the source code?
Ignacio G.T. ha scritto:
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Read here
http://www.gpl-violations.org/faq/sourcecode-faq.html

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