Matthew Garrett (mjg59) wrote,
Matthew Garrett

Fusion Garage GPL update

Fusion Garage have put up a website containing the source code for the kernel, bootloader and some miscellaneous tools (including their recovery system). As far as I can tell (by inspection - I haven't tried building binaries) it corresponds to what they were distributing, which is excellent. On the other hand, that's all the source they've provided. The pkgs.tgz binary they're providing is the binary packages shipped with the Joojoo, missing their source code. Many of these appear to simply be Ubuntu packages with the gpg signatures stripped, which is a GPL violation though not a terribly interesting one (GPLv2 only allows you to point at someone else's repositories if (a) you're not distributing commercially, (b) they gave you a written offer for the source code and (c) you pass on that written offer - however the source is out there, so it's not something I'm personally terribly upset about). In some other cases, there do seem to be genuine differences. udev, for instance, has a bunch of customisation. And finally there are packages that don't appear in Ubuntu at all, but which do contain GPLed or LGPLed material (such as webkit).

So, the take-home message is that even when given 6 months to provide source code, Fusion Garage are unable to adhere to the licenses of software they distribute. Don't give them any of your money, since unless they magically get significantly better it'll probably end up being spent on defending lawsuits.
Tags: advogato, fedora
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