Matthew Garrett (mjg59) wrote,
Matthew Garrett

Viewsonic and the GPL

Somebody linked me to this reddit story about the fact that Viewsonic appear to be engaging in the currently fashionable trend of shipping Android devices without providing any source. This one's more interesting though, in that Viewsonic appear to be entirely happy to publicly state that they have no intention of following their license obligations. I've pulled the kernel image for the device and confirmed that it contains code that's not present in the generic Android Tegra tree, so I don't think they have a leg to stand on here.

So of the companies I'm currently complaining about (Fusion Garage, Barnes and Noble, Viewsonic): One is in Singapore and two are based in the US. Chinese companies may be the current easy target when it comes to complaining about GPL violations, but the truth is that companies in countries with stronger IP enforcement are also either blissfully ignorant or feel that the risk of failing to follow their license obligations is low. This isn't a sustainable position. We've got three real choices here - do nothing, start lawsuits or start educating companies. The third is probably the most productive in the long run, though I wouldn't absolutely rule out the second if we don't get anywhere. I'm currently exploring the education possibilities. We'll see what happens next.
Tags: advogato, fedora
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