I forbindelse med lanceringen af den nye G2 mobiltelefon, udviklet af HTC for T-Mobile, gør Steve Schultze på “Freedom to Tinker” opmærksom på at HTC sandsynligvis overtræder licensbestemmelserne for Linux.
Helt konkret er det fordi der tilsyneladende er lavet nogle ændringer til Linux for at få et bestemt hardware setup til at fungere, muligvis for at gøre det sværere at hacke telefonerne, men disse ændringer er (endnu) ikke offentliggjort. Og GPL v.2 afsnit 3 siger:
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; or,
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.)
The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.
If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.
HTC svarer på henvendelser med at de publiserer kildekoden hurtigst muligt, typisk indenfor 90 til 120 dage. Det må læses som at det er usandsynligt at det sker hurtigere end 90 dage.
Spørgsmålet er om det er i overenstemmelse med GPL v.2, f.eks. punkterne b) og c) ovenfor. Jeg synes det er tvivlsomt at HTC her overholder licensbestemmelserne.