blog Ah, Kogan. That bastion of Australian dodginess. We used to love Ruslan Kogan for his over the top attacks on consumer electronics industry dinosaurs like Gerry Harvey and his charming attempts to achieve gainful employment at McDonald’s. Now we just chronicle the ongoing series of stuff-ups. There was the disastrous Kogan Mobile episode. There was the spectrum stuff-up around the first Kogan Agora smartphone. There was Ruslan Kogan’s loss of his personal driving licence. And now there’s a wide-ranging number of largely unanswered allegations that Kogan has breached the terms of the GNU General Public Licence in using open source software in its own-manufactured gadgets. Ausdroid has a comprehensive story on the issue. A sample paragraph:
“Ben is a software developer by day developing mobile apps for both Android and iOS and by night is the Co-Founder and a Director of Glass Echidna Pty Ltd. … in his post on [XDA-Developers] Ben named 8 other devices that he believes Kogan are infringing upon the GPL aside from the 3 him and his friend own. If your maths are as rusty as mine, before you reach for the calculator, that’s 11 devices that Kogan has not provided the source code for their respective kernels, which they must do in following the GPLv2 licence.”
Note: I sent an email to Kogan’s Australian PR agency a few days ago inviting comment on this issue, but haven’t heard anything back. ZDNet has a little more reaction from the big K … but nothing really conclusive or that specific, to be honest. We think Kogan can do better here and really come clean on this issue. After all, why not? If Kogan is directly profiting from the use of open source software in its products, then it has an obligation to met the terms of the licences for that software.
I want to apologise to reader, by the way, for not getting to this story sooner. I was forwarded the link to the XDA-Developers posts on this topic by a few readers, but I didn’t get the time last week to look into the issue. Given I’m late to the story I thought I would just link to Ausdroid’s version — after all, they did a stellar job on investigating the issue.
Image credit: Kogan