[linux-elitists] What would be the proper course of action for a possible GPL violation?

James Sparenberg james@linuxrebel.org
Wed May 14 21:02:41 PDT 2008

On Wednesday 14 May 2008 08:12:00 pm Greg KH wrote:
> On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 07:55:05PM -0700, James Sparenberg wrote:
> > All,
> >
> >    As some of you may have seen on slashdot there is an announcement that
> > all asus mobo's will in the near future contain built in splashtop Linux
> > desktop. Being the curious monkey I am.  I go to the site and start
> > looking for packages and source.  Just to see what it is I'm dealing
> > with.
> >
> >   Not only am I not finding a path to source, but I saw this page and the
> > following paragraph contained within.
> >
> > http://www.splashtop.com/aboutus-corporate.php
> >
> > <snip>
> > DeviceVM is releasing its first software product, Splashtop, in October
> > of 2007. Splashtop is a proprietary technology developed by DeviceVM that
> > provides users with a rapid-start alternative to the traditional
> > operating system.
> > </snip>
> >
> > Now before people start calling me alarmist.  I'm not trying to raise a
> > call to arms, and I do understand business.  What I'm looking for is the
> > proper method to follow to find the people able to assist DeviceVM in
> > working with GPL'd software, and complying with it's license.
> >
> > Suggestions?
> Until you have a device with this code in it, in your hands, you can't
> legally ask for the source code.
> So, first step would be to buy the device.

done... next.  (btw there is nothing inherently illegal in asking..... and I'm 
not so sure that the GPL requires payment. Nor is there anything illegal in 
finding out if someone is in compliance without buying their product. )

> FYI, I know someone who was just talking with ASUS last week in Tiawan,
> and I think they are doing the right thing with regards to their kernel
> GPL code, so I don't think there are going to be any issues here.  If
> you run into problems, let me know and I'll see if I can get some direct
> engineering contacts for you.

Again the problem isn't Asus they don't make splashtop.  Please note the above 
post.  The implication is that the creator of the Splashtop distro, aka 
DeviceVM, is the problem in that they seem to be declaring that their product 
is proprietary, and Linux all at the same time.


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