Elliot,

If the source is being distributed on hardware, it's still being distributed, though. That means if you send a gumstix with a patched set of source to a customer, you have to make the source available to anyone who requests it.

I recommend that each release, you create a tarball with all your sources, and put a statement in a readme somewhere to contact you if they want the source. Most likely you'll never have to worry about it, but you should be covered if they do--just send them the tarball.

John

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM, Elliot Mackenzie <emackenzie@dataplicity.com> wrote:
I will prefix this with notice that I'm not a lawyer.  So if you come to depend on any of this advice I suggest you check it with one first rather than rely on any of the below.  That made clear, this is my understanding:

You are required to provide source code for anything you DISTRIBUTE.  So if you have contractors who produce code you distribute then yes you are required to make available the source for that code.  If your contractors won't give you the code, whether or not they have their own GPL obligations (if you do, they most likely they will too unless they produced said code and hold the licensing rights), you can't distribute it either.

If you don't make any changes to upstream GPL code, then it's generally sufficient to publish a link to where people can obtain the source code (ie OE).  And if you make changes and commit them upstream that also generally holds (so long as the code is accepted upstream and published there).  But if you make any edits to GPL licenced code which you do not commit upstream, you need to make this available to anyone who wants it.

I don't believe the licence specifies any particular method to provide access as long as it is reasonably accessible upon asking - ie a tarball or zipfile on a website would probably be fine so long as it's freely accessible without strings attached, while handwriting it on the back of a napkin is probably not acceptable.  I don't think you need to provide a repo unless you want to also accept commits or really open up your working, in which case having a public repo is a matter of practicality.  In years gone by you used to get GPL code on CD from manufacturers incorporating GPL code, but nowadays most just post it on their website.

You don't need to publish your own applications' source code as long as your code remains an entirely separate beast and does not include modified or expanded GPL code.  The grey area (ie libraries) in the middle is always the subject of debate but if your code is separately compiled and produces separate binaries to any GPL code you are probably fine.

M.

-----Original Message-----
From: jumpnowdev [mailto:scott@jumpnowtek.com]
Sent: 11 October 2012 17:07
To: gumstix-users@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [Gumstix-users] GPL compliance

How do other Gumstix consultants or product companies comply with the GPL requirement to provide the source for the Linux O/S, u-boot and all the supporting GPL apps on their finished commercial Gumstix projects?

Am I correct in thinking that any patching I do to GPL code, no matter the triviality, has to be made available to the product's end user?

I'm assuming most developers do some patching of the stock code that comes from building from the OE repos even if it's just a pin mux change to u-boot.

Do you point them at an OE repo you host somewhere with your patches?

For consultants, do you handle this repo hosting for your clients?

Do you just instruct them on their responsibility?

I'm curious as to how others handle this or do you just not worry about it.




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View this message in context: http://gumstix.8.n6.nabble.com/GPL-compliance-tp4965685.html
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