Re: Linksys WRT54G and the GPL

From: Adrian Bunk (
Date: Mon Jun 09 2003 - 16:33:21 EST

On Mon, Jun 09, 2003 at 07:23:52PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
> On Llu, 2003-06-09 at 06:22, Frank Cusack wrote:
> > > Finally, it would be strange if the source was included in the physical
> > > package, as my contact at Linksys was initially unaware Linux was used
> > > in this product.
> >
> > Note that including the source with the physical package is not enough
> > to meet the GPL requirements. The source must be available to any third
> > party, not just purchasers of the product.
> Wrong. Its a common misconception. The GPL requires I make source
> available to those I give the binaries, be it a box on a supermarket
> shelf or a one of product for a client.
> In fact the GPL has to do this because it is really import that the
> author is not hit with the cost of third party distribution. What the
> author cannot do is forbid that third party distribution.

It depends which choice the distributor chooses regarding section three
of the GPL.

If he chooses 3b ("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") he has to give it to everyone.

You are right for 3a (source shipped together with the binaries) and 3c
(noncommercial redistribution of binaries received under 3b).

> In Linksys case dumping the required source on the end of the CD of
> goodies that comes with the kit and including a notice would be
> sufficient.




"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days. "Only a promise," Lao Er said. Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in the body of a message to More majordomo info at Please read the FAQ at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Jun 15 2003 - 22:00:21 EST