News - Written by Renai LeMay on Monday, November 8, 2010 9:07 - 22 Comments
Telstra violating open source licence, claims developer
Update: See Telstra’s response here.
Telstra could be about to receive an avalanche of complaints from the global open source software community, after a local developer accused the company over the weekend of violating the terms of the popular GNU General Public License in its T-Hub, T-Box and potentially T-Touch Tab products.
The telco launched the products this year and has already achieved a degree of success with the T-Hub integrated telephone and T-Box media centre products, selling a total of around 100,000 units combined by the end of September. The T-Touch Tab is one of a wave of tablets based on Google’s Android operating system to hit Australia over the past several months.
However, in an extensive blog post published yesterday, Angus Gratton — who appears to be an open source software developer and a technician at the Australian National University’s Department of Nuclear Physics — pointed out that all three products were based on the Linux operating system, which has substantial portions licensed under the GNU General Public License.
Gratton also posted a link to his claim to the GPL violations mailing list, which aims to track and rectify problems where companies are using the licence.
The GPL violations site interprets the GPL as requiring that companies who distribute products based on GPL-licenced software must make source code to the software available to customers — for example, include a zip file of relevant files on a documentation CD. In addition, a copy of the GPL licence should be included with licence documentation.
“I investigated the T-Hub and found it is built on a variety of open source software, including GPL licensed software like Linux and busybox. However, Telstra are not mentioning this anywhere and are not distributing source code, or notices to obtain source code,” wrote Gratton on his blog.
“By doing this, Telstra are violating the licenses and also robbing the authors of their rightful attribution. They appear to be regarding open source as a free-for-all that they can exploit without giving back even the small amount required legally by the various license terms … to the best of my knowledge, the T-Box is not GPL-compliant either, which gives me little hope for the upcoming T-Tab.”
The developer wrote that he had been attempting to contact Telstra about the issue, to no avail. Ultimately he said he was planning to notify as many rights-holders as he could for the software the telco was using, and encourage them to get in touch with Telstra themselves.
Telstra does not manufacture the T-Hub, T-Box or T-Touch Tab itself. The T-Box is made by European company Netgem, while the T-Hub is made by French electronics giant Sagem, and the T-Touch Tab by Chinese giant Huawei. The telco has not yet responded to a request for comment on the issue.
Image credit: Telstra
Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS
- Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles
- Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year
- WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades
- Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision
Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- Telstra gets $150m for NBN FTTN trial
- How Australia got online 25 years ago
- Palmer pushes for minimalist NBN policy
- NBN debate heats up at IEEE conference
- Spirit deploys 200Mbps FTTB to Southbank
Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- ABC tech reporter founds micro-transactions startup
- Australia’s got ICT talent: So how do we make the most of it?
- ‘Thriving’ Aussie tech incubator scene a ‘mirage’
- Corporate highs: The US P-TECH model for schools in Australia?
- Facebook wants to hide its Australian earnings
Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments
More In Digital Rights
- “Rational debate” needed around surveillance
- Web blocking technically impossible: iiNet reminds Govt of undisputed fact
- We like e-readers – but library users are still borrowing books
- Coalition, Labor support new surveillance laws
- Anti-piracy laws will increase piracy, says Budde