Ticket #4265 (new task)
OLPC needs to comply with the GPL
|Reported by:||gnu||Owned by:||cscott|
|Priority:||blocker||Milestone:||8.2.0 (was Update.2)|
|Deployments affected:||Blocked By:||#5694, #6928, #6929, #6930, #8411|
The GPL requires that a copy of the GPL license itself be provided to recipients of binaries, to notify them of their rights.
I don't have a modern build (just 542), but the only COPYING it has is in /usr/share/activities/Paint.activity/COPYING. Surely there should be a copy of it in a more global and prominent location -- and GUI end users should be notified of its existence. Debian puts such licenses in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL, and puts a pointer in the text of /usr/share/doc/(program)/copyright to the shared copy. Fedora doesn't seem to have a similar convention.
(To be effective when shipping hundreds of thousands of units to non-English speakers, a translation of the license should be provided as well.)
In addition, a program that isn't the exact original source released by the author "must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License" (GPLv3 sec 5b; also in GPLv2). While a license notice at the top of each source file is "prominent" in source code, a nonexistent or hidden string in the binary can hardly be called "prominent", if it is never displayed to the user.
GPL binaries can only be legitimately copied by including a "written offer" to provide the source code (and, for GPLv3, any "Installation Information" needed to get past the DRM and actually install recompiled source code). OLPC does not provide such a written offer. (And even if one knows about the complex and arcane tools required to extract the source tree across the Internet, it's not obvious how to find the source code that matches a particular binary build. The *matching* source is required.)
Both the GPL2 "COPYING" and the GPL3 "COPYING" need to be provided in the binary, since different software that OLPC ships is licensed under each. Other software on the machine may require other licenses to be provided and documented.
Perhaps the Sugar GUI needs some kind of "About box" that provides a readily accessible way for end users to find out that they're running free software (not just Sugar, but all the stuff under the hood), that it came with a pile of rights, and how to exercise them.