GPL violation: BT under pressure

On the 5th of january someone wrote to the GP-violations project about a possible GPL Violation with the BT Home Hub. Few days later Shane Coughlan, from the Freedom Task Force, a project in Free Software Foundation Europe to help people with licensing matters, explained that:

There’s no concrete investigation yet.
BT appears to have released bits and pieces of code, but to fully comply with the GPL we need to be able put those bits and pieces into a piece of firmware.

After that BT uploaded pieces of software to its website, insisting that it has fully complied. On the topic Shane Coughlan said:

Some things are still missing. For example, a top-level Makefile and the scripts that would be used to properly generate a firmware image. I did speak with BT on the phone and I emailed them. However, the reaction was not entirely co-operative. That’s a pity.

Despite the GPL FAQ are clearly explaining how GPL works, very few people know that, as Coughlan reported:

[..] one of the terms of the licence is that you either distribute the source code with the product using the binary code, or you include with the product a written offer to provide the source code on a physical media used for data exchange.

Reading comments to a post appeared on the Home Hub blog about the GPL thing it sounds clear that many don’t have a clue yet, but the law doesn’t admit ignorance, if BT would have released a partial copy of the source code it’s definitely not adhering to the terms of the license.

Be Sociable, Share!