[hackerspaces] Pirating Linux

Angus Gratton gus at projectgus.com
Tue Apr 3 03:20:27 CEST 2012

On Tue, 3 Apr 2012 00:47:09 +0200
Yvan Janssens <ik at yvanj.me> wrote:
> The only thing I still have my doubts on, is the packaging. The package
> should contain a GPL notice, and instructions on how and where to find the
> source code.

Hi Yvan,

It's good to see you found the source. You're totally right about the
requirement for a GPL notice, and either an offer for source or the
actual source in the box.

It's a good sign that they're releasing code, though. If they are this
switched on, then it should be possible to get onto someone useful once
you get past frontline support[1].

Gpl-violations, as mentioned, is a great resource for education
on this. Their Vendor FAQ in particular is concise, to the point,
something you can show to to a vendor:

(legal at gpl-violations mailing list also has some clueful people on it,
if things get more complex.)

If you don't get through to anyone, and the product contains busybox
(most of these kind of devices do), then you can contact the Software
Freedom Conservancy and see if they are prepared to make contact on
behalf of the Busybox copyright holders: http://busybox.net/license.html

(Not necessarily to make a threat, but it's more likely to get attention
of someone useful when it's lawyers-on-behalf rather than a member of
the public.)

Finally, this is not directly relevant here, but there's a really good
post by Brad Kuhn about reporting GPL violations (his writings have
changed my thinking about the matter, substantially.)



[1] (Anecdote) A while ago I got very angry at a major telco here in
australia violating GPL. During one of my frequent phone conversations
with clueless tech support I got "look mate, noone calls up Microsoft
and just asks for the source code to Windows." But eventually I got onto
someone with a clue.

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