Re: GPL Violation: Compro Technology Inc, 2.6.17 modifiedbinary-only kernel distribution

From: FD Cami
Date: Fri May 16 2008 - 18:32:22 EST

(adding in CC)


On Fri, 16 May 2008 23:00:12 +0100
Jo Shields <directhex@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi,
> I've discovered a GPL violation by Taiwanese TV card manufacturer Compro
> Technology.
> On their site, they are offering a "driver" for Mandriva
> Linux 2007.1, in the form of an 18 meg "linux.rpm"[1,2,3,4]. This
> "driver" is, in fact, an entire kernel image (from snd-emu10k1.ko to
> libata.ko, with everything in between), generated from Mandriva's kernel
> source package, with local modifications to at least two files (major
> file size gap between Compro and Mandriva kernels in tuner.ko and
> cx88xx.ko).
> Their "driver" is being offered in binary-only form, without any
> accompanying license, and I have received no replies to a formal request
> for source after 2 (Taiwanese) working days. Obviously, this violates
> several GPL clauses, and infringes on the rights of every kernel
> developer with code in 2.6.17.
> It is also the opinion of a LinuxTV developer with whom I've been
> discussing the matter that their modified drivers appear to contain
> large un-redistributable portions of code from a chip vendor's
> proprietary SDK, but we obviously can't adequately check this with
> only .ko files to work with.
> They appear to be offering a similar "driver" for Fedora Core 6, which
> is non-functional, presumably due to a failed upload (cpio fails to
> extract the rpm)[4,5].
> I'm not 100% certain what my next step should be, so I decided this was
> the best place to give a public airing. One suggestion I've had
> suggested is to file a DMCA takedown notice with their (US-based) ISP,
> but I've no idea whether it's the right stage to do something like that,
> nor do I have any claim to any code contained in the kernel. At any
> rate, I wanted to make the kernel developers informed of this discovery.
> I'm not on this mailing list, so a CC: would be appreciated.
> --Jo Shields
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
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