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RE: Arcom GPL violation?
- From: "CLUGSTON" <Steven dot Clugston at newcastle dot ac dot uk>
- To: "Jonathan Larmour" <jifl at eCosCentric dot com>, "Gary Thomas" <gary at mlbassoc dot com>
- Cc: "CLUGSTON" <Steven dot Clugston at newcastle dot ac dot uk>, "eCos Maintainers" <ecos-maintainers at ecos dot sourceware dot org>
- Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 17:27:55 -0000
- Subject: RE: Arcom GPL violation?
>From: Jonathan Larmour [mailto:jifl@eCosCentric.com]
>Sent: 31 January 2005 16:25
>To: Gary Thomas
>Cc: CLUGSTON; eCos Maintainers
>Subject: Re: Arcom GPL violation?
>Gary Thomas wrote:
>> Note: this is really a topic for the eCos maintainers (of which I am
>> included), so I've cc'd them to this reply. (sorry for the
>> On Mon, 2005-01-31 at 14:43 +0000, CLUGSTON wrote:
>>>I have purchased a VIPER board from Arcom UK that came pre-flashed
>>>with Redboot. There was a problem with the Flash which ment in the
>>>end that I had to return the board, but this problem lead me
>>>after the source code for Redboot. It turns out that they
>>>or about $180 USD for a 'Reboot Development' CD-Rom. I
>>>by my understanding of the GPL that there where obliged to make the
>>>modifications available to anyone, especially anyone who has payed
>>>for a board with it embedded into it. They said that their engineers
>>>had spent the time making it unique to the Viper and therefore they
>>>have to charge for it.
>>>Can you give me any clarification on whether or not they are allowed
>>>to do this or not before I purchase the CD?
>>>Sorry for the direct email, but I didn't want to disscuss this on the
>>>mailing list. I have included below a section of a similar
>>>from the list about 18mths ago that there was no follow up to.
>> This is definitely *not* allowed under the GPL. They can
>charge you a
>> fee, but only to the limit of what it costs them to produce the
>> sources on a distribution medium. From section 3 of GPL (rev 2):
>> 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
>> Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the
>> a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
>> source code, which must be distributed under the terms
>> 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.)
>>>Thanks for any information you can offer.
>> I don't know how you can push them on this though. Perhaps
>> maintainers can make some suggestions.
>Arcom have been decent in the past and made contributions. I
>it's more likely to be disconnect and miscommunication within
>than anything deliberate, so we don't need to come out with all guns
>blazing assuming the worst.
>Steven, if you think you've already effectively pointed out
>what Gary says
>(which is entirely correct) we can take this on. As copyright
>have much more clout.
>I will make an initial discreet enquiry now, but (Steven) let us know
>whether you want to talk to them again first.
>It may also help that Arcom are based in Cambridge UK, as are
>many of the
>> Note: you should have also received the full sources to their Linux
>> port if they distributed that as part of the product.
>Although to be clear, you only get sources to the binaries you have
>received (in whatever form) so it may not include any fancy
>tools they bundle - I don't know if they do.
>eCosCentric http://www.eCosCentric.com/ The eCos and
>Visit us at Embedded World 2005, Nürnberg, Germany, 22-24 Feb,
>Stand 11-124 --["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work
They haven't supplied any Linux binaries only RedBoot. I am waiting to find out exactly what's on either of their CDs so perhaps its best to hold fire until then when I can ask more directly if they are prepared to release the eCos/Redboot source tree code. At the end of the day as Gary says it's you guys that hold the copyright and have put the work in so it depends if you want it enforced or not. I will buy the CD if necessary as the money is coming from my university department and not my own pocket. They are selling what seems to be a good product and I don't want to antagonize them too much.