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BT Home Hub Breaches Linux's Public License

Posted: 23rd Jan, 2007 By: MarkJ
The wireless ADSL router ("Home Hub") accompanying some of BT's broadband packages could be in breach of Linux's General Public License (GPL). It's understood that the hub runs on open source code, which must be published to comply with the license:

The telco was reported to gpl-violations.org on 5 January. Under the General Public License companies must publish the code they are using. In its simplest terms, the license says you can use free software as you like, but must credit where it came from and publish improvements you make to it.

BT responded quickly and posted an admission that it was using open source software and made it available to download late last week. However, investigation by the Freedom Taskforce, the part of Free Software Europe which deals with licensing, said BT had not in fact published the complete code.

Freedom Taskforce spokesperson Shane Coughlan told The Register: "It appears to be missing the scripts to control compilation and installation." Gpl-violations.org is now investigating the telco.

The Register notes that people could potentially rewrite some of the router code themselves, although that could be seen as either a positive or a negative thing depending on your perspective. There's an interesting blog about it here.
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