VIA GPL Violation ?

Ken Fuchs kfuchs at
Thu Oct 28 11:50:00 CEST 2004

Arc Riley wrote:

>Actually, no, all you have to do is aquire the software in binary
>form.  If source is not included, then they must provide it through
>specific means outlined in the GPL whenever requested.

>Wether it's sold or given gratis is of no consequence, as I've known..

The above are sufficient, but not necessary conditions for getting the
modified source code under the GPL.  Refer to the version of the GPL
that LinuxBIOS is licensed under (Version 2, June 1991):

The code in question doesn't include source and the distributer of
this code is not a non-profit, so the following clause applies:


# b)  Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of
physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable
copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the
terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for
software interchange; or,


Such an offer is not included in the zip file and it must be, if any
binary code in the zip file is generated from GPL licensed code, i.e.
LinuxBIOS.  Therefore, if any LinuxBIOS source or binary code is
compiled/linked to generate binaries in the zip file in question,
distribution of that zip file is a violation of the GPL.

The next step is proving that GPL code (LinuxBIOS) is actually being
incorporated.  Without that proof, there is no GPL violation.
Contacting the FSF for advise would be next best step.

I don't see any point in discussing this potential GPL violation in a
this public forum.  However, continued generic discussion of the GPL
and what it requires might be helpful.


Ken Fuchs <kfuchs at>

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