On 7/3/06, Rod Whitby <list.nslu2-linux@...
> Rick DeNatale wrote:
> > Danger Will Robinson! There's been a buzz on the "internets" of late
> > about the effect on smaller distributions of the Free Software
> > Foundation's lawyers going after Mepis for violation of the GPL
> > because they (MEPIS) aren't providing the ability to get upstream
> > source code from them directly:
> > http://www.mepis.org/source <http://www.mepis.org/source>
> > The FSF maintains that the GPL requires this. Mepis is complying with
> > their next release.
> > While a lot of smaller distros see it as standard practice to provide
> > upstream source via "inheritance" the high priests of the GPL
> > (probably rightly) see this as a violation of the GPL, and they WILL
> > enforce it.
> We are well aware of our responsibilities under the GPL and take
> compliance with upstream licenses *very* seriously (e.g. the Intel
> license that forces us to have a click-through for our firmware releases).
> *All* source code that has *ever* been used to produce *any* nslu2-linux
> binary is available at http://sources.nslu2-linux.org/, and *will*
> remain there for as long as the project is alive (i.e. *nothing* ever
> gets deleted from that historical source code repository). And our
> build system automatically goes to that site if an upstream site removes
> it's copy of the source code, so we're even helping to make sure that
> our upstream sites comply with the GPL ...
> Hope that clears things up ...
Good news, and I wasn't trying to cause grief. I don't even have a
slug but I lurk here because of a general interest in embedded linux
stuff. I have been seeing a lot about the Mepis incident on various
One thing that I've noticed is that although it's pretty clear that
most upstream developers have the intent of using GPL, the nuts and
bolts of HOW they license their code is a bit shaky. For instance,
Linus himself doesn't seem to put comment's in each source module
granting license, but relies on having the COPYING file somewhere
alongside the other files. Many others have followed suit. Having
dealt a lot with corporate lawyers I'm not sure that this gives a
clear legal trail to a license to all the code, but I don't suppose
that it would ever get tested.
IPMS/USA Region 12 Coordinator
Visit the Project Mercury Wiki Site