Re: Dell vs. GPL

Fluke (
Mon, 14 Jul 2003 15:35:57 -0500 (CDT)

I sent the following information below to both the Dell Linux PowerEdge
and the Linux Kernel mailing lists back in June. Since then Dell has done
nothing to add the required written offer or any other corrective steps.
This is not the first time that Dell has choosen to violate the terms of
the GPL when performing binary only redistribution. Back in 2002, I was
told that steps where taken at Dell to ensure that they would strictly
honor the GPL. It took several *MONTHS* for these steps to be taken
during which they continued to violate the GPL.

When I posted the message below, one of the responces was that raising
it on the poweredge mailinglist might be a good idea since it has been his
expierence that Dell folks fix mistakes pretty fast there. I had already
done exactly that by sending the original message to there. Rather than a
quick fix (again, two weeks later they still haven't fixed it), I got an
auto-responce that the message is being delayed due to a suspicious
header. It appears that the report of the GPL violation is still being
delayed or has been willfully discarded. The mailinglist maintainer has
choosen not to respond as to what about the header is suspicious or why
the posting still has not appeared.

I firmly believe that Dell will either again take several months to
address honoring the conditions of the GPL or continue to disregard their
obligations. Personally, I consider this to be unacceptable behavior on
the part of Dell. I am looking for anyone that is aware of any law office
which is willing to provide discounted legal services in regards to
enforcing the GPL. I am not confortable with signing the copyright on my
contributions over to the FSF and don't have enough money to pay the
normal rate for seeking a court injuction.


On Sat, 28 Jun 2003, Fluke wrote:

> Dell is providing binary only derived works of the Linux kernel and the
> modutils package at
> The GPL appears to provide four terms under section 3 that Dell may
> legally redistribute these works:
> - In regards to GPL 3a, Dell does *NOT* provide the source code as part of
> the tar.gz
> - In regards to GPL 3b, Dell does *NOT* provide a written offer as part of
> the tar.gz
> - In regards to GPL 3c, Dell does *NOT* provide information regarding an
> offer to the source code as part of the tar.gz
> - Lastly, Dell does *NOT* provide equivalent access to the source code
> from the same ftp site

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